Buhari Appoints Ambode into FG’s Delegation to World Cup

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*Lagos Gov allays fear over Eagles losing streak

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode as a member of the Federal Government’s delegation to the 2018 FIFA World Cup starting in Russia from June 14.

Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung who said this when he led a delegation from the International Paralympics Committee on a courtesy visit to Ambode at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja yesterday, said the appointment was in recognition of the massive investment and commitment to sports development which the governor had exhibited in the last three years.

While handing over the letter of appointment to the governor, Dalung said Lagos had been home to sports, and that it was gratifying that Ambode had repositioned sports as a catalyst for development and growth in the state.

“Your Excellency, I want to inform you that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has approved you as one of the members of the Federal Government delegation that would be leading and representing him and other Nigerians in Russia at the World Cup.

“The President’s approval of you as a member of that delegation is borne out of the conviction that you have been one of the governors that have invested heavily in sports and also supported sports.

“Lagos is home to sports and so we are always here. We are always here because of the very friendly environment and a good relationship the ministry enjoys with the Lagos State Government and the fraternity of the government and people of Lagos is one of the major reasons why we will often visit the governor when the occasion demands,” Dalung said.

He said the high-powered delegation from the International Paralympics Committee led by Mr Sam Munkley was at Lagos House as part of the bid by Nigeria to host the International Paralympics Championship in Lagos in 2019, saying apart from conducting training for Nigerian Paralympics association and stakeholders, the delegation would also inspect the facilities to be used when the country gets the hosting right for the tournament.

Responding, Governor Ambode thanked President Buhari for appointing him into FG’s delegation to the World Cup, saying that with the morale and physical support for the Super Eagles, Nigerians would be made proud at the end of the day.

He specifically allayed fears in some quarters over the losing streak suffered by the team in some of the friendly matches played in preparation for the tournament, insisting that the succession of defeats to Atletico Madrid, England and Czech Republic were part of the strategy to understand the areas to concentrate on in having a well-rounded team.

“With our morale and physical support, Nigerians would be made proud and I am sure people should not bother about what they are seeing with the friendly matches; they are supposed to be friendlies and I am sure the team will put all their energy and make Nigeria proud,” Governor Ambode said.

He said as part of the efforts to create enabling environment for the youth population in the State, the State Government was currently reconstructing the Onikan Stadium, while a groundbreaking of the Maracana Stadium in Ajegunle would be performed in few weeks.

Earlier, Munkley thanked Governor Ambode for the hospitality accorded his delegation, saying they had never received such from any country before now.