Newly appointed Minister of Youth & Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalong on Wednesday in what was his first official assignment after taking the oath of office earlier in the day, gave kudos to the Golden Eaglets for winning a record fifth FIFA U-17 World Cup at Chile 2015.
Speaking at reception organized by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports led by DG Sports, Mallam Alhassan Yakmut for the Golden Eaglets and the Scrabble World Cup-winning team at the Transcorp Hiton Hotel in Abuja,Dalong said Nigerians were happy with the Eaglets for representing the country with pride in Chile. He equally challenged administrators to be alive to their responsibilities in order to change the face of the sport sector of the economy.
“The performance of the Golden Eaglets at the World Cup has shown that success has so many fathers,” said Dalong.” If they had lost, Nigerians would have not have welcomed with love. But their victory has once again shown that sport is a universal tool for our unity because the players were picked from different places but they were united as one in Chile.
“We want to thank them and their officials for making us proud with their performance,” he stated, advising administrators to find a lasting solution to all manner of malaise, including internal wrangling, which has endangered the growth of sports in the country over the years.
NFF 1st Vice President, Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi, wished the new Minister a successful tenure in office even as he reiterated the federation’s commitment to a sustainable football culture with systematic approach towards it’s development.
“Though many people did not give these boys a chance when they were traveling out of the country,the NFF knew they have the capacity,” noted Akinwunmi. “In truth, the victory of the team is a continuation of Nigerian football’s rich culture at the U-17 level but we are developing a systematic approach so that we can nurture them for the future.”
He affirmed the desire of the NFF at ensuring transition of players from one level to the other hence it’s decision to re-confirm Coach Amuneke as Eaglets’ Head Coach with additional responsibility of assisting coach Manu Garba at the U-20 level.
Also in attendance at the event were a host of top administrators from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports as well as the NFF including 2nd Vice President Mallam Shehu Dikko; Alhaji Ahmad Kawu; Alhaji Ahmed Fresh; Hon. Suleiman Yahaya Kwande; Chief Felix Anyansi and; General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi.
Coach Amuneke gave the vote of thanks, calling on both Muslim and Christian sports administrators in the country to embrace God in other to discharge their duties without fear or favour and to treat equally every Nigerian irrespective of ethic or religious differences.