Awka – Romanus Ezeonwuka, Managing Director, Rojenny Games Village, Oba, Anambra, has hailed the victory of Dream Team V1 in the male soccer event at Rio Olympics over Japan and Sweden and that Nigeria did not prepare for the Olympics.
Ezeonwuka said in Awka on Monday that securing a quarter-final ticket was a morale booster for the team which had turbulent build-up to the Games in Brazil.
He said the victories were not because of the good preparation but the determination of the Samson Siasia-led team whom, he noted, wanted to make a mark for themselves.
The sports enthusiast said he was too excited about the ability of Team Nigeria to surpass their former performances because the athletes were not properly prepared for the global challenge.
“Our U-23 soccer team are doing well; I am happy with them after all the difficulties.
“Nigeria did not prepare for the Olympics; any country that goes to the Olympics for real business prepares for it in four or more years.
“And not to gather athletes for two months and send them to compete with the world’s best.
“Luck gave us some fortunes in Atlanta `96 but as a man who has invested in sports than any state government in Nigeria, l can tell you that we are not proactive.
“Our facilities are idle and no plans to prepare the athletes for victory, so it is still a trial and error thing,’’ he said.
Ezeowuka, who decried poor investment in sports in spite of its unifying factor, noted that sports rather than religion had kept the country together and should enjoy government’s attention.
“We have never invested in sports development as we should; the unity we are looking for in Nigeria can be got from sports.
“I think religion divides us but sports unite us.
“So, if there is any sector that should enjoy waver or subsidy, it should be sports not religion because it lifts more people especially the youths out of poverty,’’ he said.
The U-23 male soccer team secured their quarter-finals berth after beating Japan 5-4 on Wednesday and Sweden 1-0 on Sunday.
The team will play Colombia on Aug. 10 in their final group game.