President Goodluck Jonathan has assured the Falconets of “a heroines’ welcome’’ should they triumph over Germany in Sunday’s final of the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, stated that
Jonathan gave the assurance in a telephone chat with the players on Saturday.
The statement stated that the president, who is currently on a private visit to Germany, spoke with the Falconets at their base in Montreal at about 3:15 p.m. Nigerian time.
It stated that the president spoke with the Captain of the team, Patience Okaeme; top scorer, Aisha Oshoala; Assistant Captain, Deborah Okoye; and Courtney Dike.
He also spoke with Uchechi Sunday, the leader of the Nigerian delegation, Mr Felix Agwu; Head Coach, Peter Dedevbo; and other members of the team.
The statement stated that Jonathan commended the players for getting to the finals of the tournament once again.
He urged them to do their best to exceed their 2010 second place finish by overcoming the German team and bringing “greater glory, pride and joy to soccer-loving Nigerians’’.
According to him, you have done very well by getting to the final.
“I urge you to crown your efforts with ultimate victory on Sunday by playing with the greatest possible artistry, discipline, determination and patriotic zeal.
“I look forward to receiving you at the Presidential Villa with the winners’ trophy.
“You can be assured of the immense gratitude of the Federal Government and the very appreciative people of Nigeria,” Jonathan told the players and their handlers.
He said that “due to time difference, it will be late night in Germany by the time the final match begins in Montreal.
“But Jonathan promised to stay up to watch the game with his aides, and join millions of other Nigerians at home and across the world in cheering them to victory.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Falconets defeated their North Korean counterparts 6:2 in the first semi-final game on Wednesday to book their place in the final. (NAN)