By Daniel Idonor, Abuja
President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua yesterday received the trophy for the FIFA Under 17 World Cup billed to commence this weekend in Nigeria with high assurance that the best hospitality and entertainment awaits the world as Nigeria is all out to be best host of the tournament.
Receiving the trophy from the Minister of Sport, Alhaji Sani Ndanusa, who led members of of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) to the Presidential Vi
lla, the President said â€œI want to assure the entire world that Nigeria will do everything possible to have a hitch-free tournamentâ€.
A visibly elated Yarâ€™Adua boasted that come this weekend â€œNigerians will show to the outside world the stuff we are made off in terms of hospitality, in terms of friendship, brotherhood and our ability to make people to feel at home such that FIFA will always be tempted to be bringing world competitions and tournaments to Nigeria which is a leading football nationâ€.
â€œWe have young people, youth, women, men, and elderly people in Nigeria who are all enthusiastic about football in Nigeria as a passion, watching it in Nigeria is a celebration so we will celebrate the opening and closing of the Under 17 tournament and once again let me thank FIFA for bring this tournament to Nigeria and appeal to all Nigerians to make this tournament a memorable occasion for all of usâ€, he said.
While wishing all the players to the competition safe arrival and good luck at the tourney, the President urged that â€œthey should take advantage of our hospitalityâ€.
Expressing optimism that adequate arrangements, in terms of facilities, have been put in place, Yarâ€™Adua assured participating countries that â€œthey will find the facilities quite acceptable to them, and their welfare will be fully looked after and they will find Nigerians are hospitable people as they are great hostâ€.
He pledged Federal Government continuous support to all our organs and agencies to ensure that they perform their duties to make this tournament a memorable one throughout the world; stressing that â€œwe will support you honourable minister and I want to also thank all our governors in whose states this competition will take place for their effort in partnering with the Federal Government to ensure adequate preparation for the under 17 tournamentâ€.
He called on all Nigerians to support the nation in making sure that the country host a successful tournament, saying that the â€œFour tournaments organized by FIFA are slated for the African continent, two have taking place, the Confederation cup in South Africa and the under20 world cup in Egypt.
We have the under 17 tournament taking place here on our doorstep in Nigeria and next year we are going to have world cup in south Africa.â€.
According to him, Nigeria cannot afford to fail as not only the giant of Africa but as a leading football nation in the continent in particular and the world in general; and call on all Nigerians, â€œto ensure that the hosting of the tournament in Nigeria will be the best among all these fourâ€.