By Jacob Ajom
Sports Minister, Hon Bolaji Abdulahi yesterday hailed the resilience of the Super Eagles at the on-going CHAN African Nations tournament in South Africa, declaring that Nigerians from President Goodluck Jonathan to the common man on the streets appreciate the team.
Speaking when he addressed the team at their President Hotel and Conference Centre in Bloemfontein, Abdulahi, said despite the Eagles losing via penalty shootout to Ghana in the semi-final of the CHAN tournament he was totally satisfied with the performance of the players and will continue to support the team to achieve more.
The Minister who was in company of NFF President Alhaji Aminu Maigari, Technical Committee Chairman, Barr Chris Green, and the Senate Committee Chairman on Sports, Adamu Gumba praised the leadership of the NFF and the technical crew for raising a team that has made Nigerians proud at the CHAN tourney.
He thereafter redeemed his pledge of $100,000 to the team for defeating Morocco in the quarter final and another $100,000 for its sterling performance against Ghana despite losing on penalties.
He also urged the team to go ahead and win the third place match against Zimbabwe on Saturday, assuring that they will get the reward of the government when they do that. NFF President Aminu Maigari, who himself personally doled out $10,000 to the team before the Ghana game on Wednesday, assured the Minister that the team will get better as it prepares for the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
He said earnest preparations are already in place for an outstanding outing by the team at the championship. Team Coach, Stephen Keshi and Captain Chigozie Agbim, assured that the team will not disappoint in the third place game to be played on Saturday in Cape Town. Keshi thanked the youthful Minister for his support for the team and assured that the team will get better with every opportunity on offer.