- Commends Winter Olympics Reps
- Karembeu tips Nigeria to go far at the World Cup in Russia
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari wednesday in Abuja received World Cup trophy from FIFA officials ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
He also received the Home-based Eagles who finished as runners-up at the last African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco recently without announcing any cash reward for them.
The president also received Team Nigeriaâ€™s quartet to the Winter Olympics which held in South Korea last month. Seun Adigun and Simi Adeagbo were physically present at the Presidential Villla.
The presentation of the FIFA trophy to Buhari was in line with FIFA’s tradition to tour all the countries participating in the tournament with the trophy.
Speaking at the event, former World Cup winner with France who is FIFA’s Representative on the trophy tour, Christian Karembeu, said bringing the trophy to Nigeria ahead of the tournament was meant to rekindle the passion of many young people in football and inspire the Super Eagles to believe in themselves that they can go far in the tournament and bring the trophy back to Nigeria.
â€œYes, we know there are a number of strong African countries in the game but Nigeria has always been a great footballing nation, and they have an exciting team heading to the FIFA World Cup in Russia. I have played alongside and against so many Nigerian players and I can attest to their strength and ambition. I believe the present Super Eagles squad is capable of great things,â€ said Karembeu, as he congratulated the President of Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Pinnick on Super Eaglesâ€™ qualification for Russia 2018.
In his presentation, representative of Coca Cola, one of the sponsors of the world football body, said 91 cities in over 20 countries are currently being toured by FIFA.
According to him, the trophy would spend four days in Abuja and Lagos because of the acknowledgement of Nigeria as not just a football-loving nation but also a high ranking football nation in the world.
He also said the event was meant to put Nigeria on the global roadmap adding that it was part of Coca Cola’s commitment to the growth of football.
In his remark, the president said he was aware that the global tour by FIFA which started on January 22, 2018 would cover the six continents of the world before the kick off of the World Cup in Russia.
Buhari thanked FIFA for involving two cities of Nigeria in the tour, stating that football is a symbol of unification in the country.
The president also commended the Home-based Eagles who represented Nigeria at the 2018 CHAN in Morocco, stressing that he was proud of them.
He also commended the young ladies in Diaspora who represented Nigeria in Winter Olympic in South Korea.
While thanking Coca Cola for investing in sport development in Nigeria, Buhari said it is Nigeria’s commitment to empower its youths through sports.
The Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, who introduced the CHAN Eagles and the Winter Olympic participants, expressed hope that the trophy would be brought back to Nigeria in July after the World Cup in Russia.
The event was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, ministers and sport administrators.