By: Gyang Dakwo
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has pledged to provide maximum support and encouragement to the Nigeria Football Federation as the national age grade team players graduate from one level to another.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, made this pledge while hosting the bronze medalists of the recently concluded 7th FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup finals, Flamingos of Nigeria at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium on Tuesday.
Dare said such support will make champions of the World Cup bronze medallists give their innate talents, skills, as demonstrated in their abilities.
“We commend you for the way you performed without fear and held up the flag to win a historic bronze for our country in this competition. I praise the NFF for the support to the team right from their screening through the qualifiers and to the arrangements for final camping in Turkey and the final tournament in India. We must also commend the coaching crew for their steadfastness in imparting the right knowledge to the players.
“I will be happy to see these players graduate from this level to the U-20 and then to the senior team, because they have the skills and talent, which they have demonstrated ability to do very well. The Ministry will give NFF the right support to achieve that. They have served well as good ambassadors of our country on and off the pitch,” Dare said.
Earlier, the NFF President, Ibrahim Musa Gusau recalled the team’s exploits during the qualifying campaign and at the final competition in India, describing the players as “young, energetic, vibrant, positive and promising.”
The Permanent Secretary in the Sports Ministry, Ismaila Abubakar, hailed the team for “performing so wonderfully well” to make Nigeria proud and observed that its success was attributable to synergy and telepathy, which should be credited to the coaching crew.
Captain of the team, Alvine Dah-Zossu expressed appreciation to the Ministry and the NFF and thanked Nigerians from all walks of life who prayed for and wished the team well in India.