By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA – Members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday called on the Federal Government to redeem its promise of rewarding members of Flying Eagles team of 1983 who qualified Nigeria for the Under-20 World Cup in Mexico.
The call followed a motion by Hon. Abbas Tajudeen (APC, Kaduna) at plenary.
Canvassing for support to the motion, Tajudeen recalled that “1983 Flying Eagles team was the first Nigerian Nation football team to qualify for any Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) organized football tournament”.
He also recalled that the team “emerged as African Champions in the Under-20 World Cup qualifying series in the African zone to represent Africa in the FIFA organized. Under-20 World Cup in Mexico 1983.”
The lawmaker noted that the “Federal Administrations have paid only lip service to rewarding the team or fulfilling the promise to award scholarship to every player in the team”, also noted that “the National Lottery Commission which was established to fund the nation’s sportsmen and women has not lived up to expectations”.
Reminding the House that the then federal government of former President Shehu Shagari had promised to award members of the team scholarships in the academic institution of their choice without fulfilling it, Tajudeen therefore called the House to intervene in the matter.
In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yusuf Lasun who presided over the session adhered to the prayers of the motion which “urging the federal government to, as an alternative, reward any player who is late or not interested in academic pursuits by monetizing the award, giving them national honours or honoring them as it deems fit in concrete terms”.
The House also mandated its Committee on Sports to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports to ensure implantation and report back within 6 weeks for further legislative action.