Abuja – The Minister of Sports, Tammy Danagogo, on Thursday pledged the ministry’s support to the Nigeria Football Supporters Club to mobilise its members for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Danagogo made the pledge in Abuja when the President of the club, DR Rafiu Oladipo led some members of the club to meet him with their plans and programmes for the World Cup.
“I am happy with the energy and the zeal that the supporters club is bringing into our participation in the World Cup.
“As a ministry, we will do our best to support you because without your support, the players look like orphans when playing on the field.
“Your presence always gives the players a sense of belonging and it motivates them to do better.
“We will now consolidate on the good relationship the club has with the ministry because we want the Super Eagles to surpass their previous records.
“With the semi-final target that we have for the team, the role of the supporters club cannot be over emphasised,” the minister said.
Danagogo urged the club to mobilise many of its members to support the Super Eagles in Brazil.
“All our group matches in the World Cup are important to us, but our match against Argentina is one that many people are looking forward to.
“So, you have to mobilise your members en masse to ensure that we are up to standard in terms of support to be given to the team.
“I learnt that Argentina had already bought more than 29,000 tickets out of the available tickets for the World Cup, but we should not allow this to deter us.
“Our match against Argentina is a must win for us to stamp our authority at the World Cup, so we need all the support we can get,” he said.
Earlier, Oladipo, said that the club would be going to Brazil on a national service, hence it needs support.
“The World Cup is a big event and we will be mobilising our members to give the Super Eagles support.
“We intend to go to the World Cup with 300 members from Nigeria and 500 from our members across the world and we will need money for accommodation, air fare and match tickets.
“We will be based in Sao Paulo and our journey from our base to the venue of the first match will take us six hours to and from by road.
“The second match will take us 18 hours to and from, while the third match will take us 22 hours.
“And since we are going there on a national service on a project that is for all Nigerians, we are appealing for financial support from the minister, “Oladipo said.
Also at the visit was Nigeria’s Ambassador to Brazil, Adamu Emozozo, who said the entire Brazil population was waiting to watch the Eagles at the World Cup.
“Everybody in Brazil is waiting to see the Super Eagles of Nigeria play at the World Cup and we want the supporters club to lead in the support.
“Argentina may have bought as many tickets as possible, but we are counting on over 200 million Brazillians either in the stadium or at home to support Nigeria.
“So, we at the embassy will do all we can to facilitate the performance of the Super Eagles and the supporters club come June,’’ Emozoz said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Eagles are among the 32 teams that will compete at the mundial scheduled to hold from June 12 to July 13. (NAN)