Russia 2018: Play fair, clean, Buhari tells Super Eagles

Russia 2018: Play fair, clean, Buhari tells Super Eagles
May 30 21:33 2018

By Ahmed Idris

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday called on charged the Super Eagles to play fair and clean and make the country proud at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which would commence June 14, 2018.

Addressing the Super Eagles at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the President urged the players to work hard and win the tournament for the country.

“You are going to represent us in Russia, you must bear in mind that you are not just going for a tournament, with each game you must remember that you are carrying the passions, emotions and feelings of over 180 million people. Play fair and clean but demonstrate the gallant spirit which Nigerians are known for.

“Nothing unites Nigerians more than football and nothing will gladden the people of Nigeria more than for you to acquit yourself honourably by winning in Russia. You are the youngest team in the tournament which means you are likely the most inexperienced team, a fact that will not be lost on your opponents. But it is also something that you can use to your advantage.

“You have the full support and the blessings of all Nigerians who will look up to you for as long as the tournament last. I commend the Nigerian Football Federation for drawing up the right programme that is helping to refine the team to the powerful force which it’s meant to be. This is our time, we look up to you to make us proud. All Nigerians join me in saying to you, best of luck,” he said.

The President commended the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) for drawing up the right programme that was helping to refine the team to the powerful force to be reckoned with.

In his remarks, president of NFF, Mr Amaju Pinnick, thanked the President for his support to the NFF, and for creating the enabling environment for the prosperity and stability being enjoyed in football house.

“You have done what no other president in the history of Nigeria has done. 32 years ago with your magic wand, Nigeria won the U17 World Cup. Our dream beyond enabling all these things is to create a self-sustaining football federation and within the next two years I can assure you the NFF will be running on its own without any funds from government.

That has been the dream of the NFF.

“Today, football is being played in Maiduguri, it was reported in BBC because of the Peace you have been able to achieve in that area. Our dream also is create a football federation that people will look at and say we are very proud to be Nigerians. Today, we have so many Nigerians working in international global committees, the only female member of FIFA Ethics six-member committee which is FIFA’s own EFCC, the only African, is a Nigerian, Justice Ayotunde Philips.

“Today, we also have a Nigerian as the President of CAF Appeals Board, we have 10 Nigerians serving in 10 major committees because you made this possible for football to grow in Nigeria,’’ he said.

Also speaking, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Solomon Dalung, said the Super Eagles have a rich history of participation in the FIFA World Cup tournaments
“Since that memorable time that Nigeria qualified for the World Cup, the Super Eagles has qualified five more times for the global football tournament.

“France ‘98, Korea/Japan ‘02, South Africa 2010; Brazil 2014 where they reached the round of 16 and the current campaign Russia 2018, which is due to kick off in a couple of weeks,” he said.