By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA – As the Under 17 FIFA World Cup tournament kicks off today in Chile, President Muhammadu Buhari has wished the defending champions, Golden Eaglets of Nigeria, a fruitful outing and urged them to bring the cup back home for the 5th time.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu yesterday quoted the President Buhari as urging the present team to do their “utmost best to match the outstanding performance of their victorious predecessors who have won the competition four times including the inaugural edition in 1985 and the last tournament in 2013.”
Optimistic that the Golden Eaglets would defeat United States of America, USA, in their opening match today, president Buhari also assured them and their handlers of the full support of the Federal Government.
The president said he “will follow the team’s progress through the tournament in Chile with keen interest and high expectation in the belief that the boys have the skills, dedication and determination required to make Nigeria world champions at the youth level once again.”
He therefore called on the “players to stay focused, avoid all distractions and put their globally acknowledged skills, ability and doggedness on display against the USA tomorrow (today), Chile on October 20, Croatia on October 23 and in all their subsequent matches to win the tournament and give millions of soccer-loving Nigerians the perfect end-of-the-year gift.”