Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi
Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi, who came into the Faro, Portugal camp of the national team at noon on Tuesday, underlined his youthfulness as he still find time to be at the team’s training session, at 3:30pm Portuguese time (4:30pm Nigeria), observing every move of the players and the Stephen Keshi-led technical crew.
In company of the Director, Elite Athletes in the Sports Ministry, Dr Bolaji Ojo-Oba, the minister took time to make a personal observation and declared that he was encouraged to come and watch the team in Faro, Portugal, after a superlative performance against the Catalan Selected side, which the Eagles held to a 1-1 draw in Barcelona last Wednesday.
The Minister will be the Special Guest at the Algarve Stadium in Faro, Portugal, when the national team takes on their Cape Verde counterpart in another tune up game ahead of the South Africa 2013 championship.
“The Eagles have raised the hopes of every Nigerian by their performance in the game against Catalonia and we hope it will be the same spirit that the team will take to South Africa for the Nations Cup proper,” Eagles Media Officer, Ben Alaiya quotes the Minister as saying.
The Minister did not formally address the players after Tuesday’s evening training but assured that still he was still around, he will address the team after the game against Cape Verde, obviously with a message from President Goodluck Jonathan.
“So far I’m impressed with the tactical approach of the coaches and I see this collection of players doing us proud at the Nations Cup,” he said.
Meanwhile, the list of 23 players who will don the national colours at AFCON 2013 will be made public Wednesday.
Head Coach Stephen Keshi said he has heard of a list making the rounds in Nigeria but urged soccer loving Nigerians to ignore the list purportedly issued by him.
“We will give out the names of the 23 man squad on Wednesday, I plead with Nigerians to be a little bit patient with us because it’s a difficult thing to do,” he said.