World Cup: Sports Minister Drums Support For Eagles, Warns Against Distraction

Minister of Youth and Sport, Solomon Dalung has appealed to Nigerians

to show solidarity and support to ensure the success of Nigeria team

at the FIFA World Cup in Russia

Dalung in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja by his Special

Assistant, Media, Nneka Ikem-Anibeze, thanked the team for their

commitment, patriotism and unity of purpose as the World Cup

approaches.

He urged the team and other stakeholders to continue to produce the

desired results in their friendly games and aspire to win the cup.

According to him, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) should not be

distracted with the award of slots to prospective supporters to

Russia.

“I sincerely commend the Federal Government and Nigerians for their

unflinching support and solidarity to the team and officials.

“As we look forward to playing our remaining friendly matches with DR

Congo, England and the Czech Republic, government assures that every

step will be taken to ensure a smooth operation of the matches.

“I also appeal to Nigerians to show their solidarity and support to

see the team to victory,’’ he said.

The minister commended the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Technical

and coaching crew and urged them to remain focussed in their

preparations for the FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Dalung, however, emphasised that priority would be given to the team

including officials before considering issues of sponsoring

individuals.

“We appreciate the desire of Nigerians to travel to Russia and support

the team but it is worthy of note that every plan on ground will focus

on the welfare of the team and officials.

“The team having qualified for the World Cup is a Nigerian team,

therefore, preparation of delegations and mobilisation of support is

the exclusive preserve of the Federal Government of Nigeria,’’ he

said.

Dalung, however, said that the NFF was preoccupied with preparation of

the team and its officials for the competition and should not be

distracted with the award of slots to prospective supporters to

Russia.

“I urge the Federation to concentrate on its mandate and avoid the

distraction of allocation of slots to people interested in traveling

to Russia for the World Cup.

“However, any Nigerian with the capacity to travel to Russia to

support the Super Eagles is not limited by this advice.

“I wish the Super Eagles of Nigeria the best and look forward to an

amazing performance in Russia 2018,” Dalung said.