From Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung has commissioned the Abuja World Cup viewing Centre.
The centre will enable the members of the public, to view all the 64 Russian 2018 matches for the next 31 days, on a mega TV screen in the heart of the nation’s capital.
The three principal partners that came together to conceive the Abuja World Cup viewing centre are: Kefas Ropshik, Managing Director of Kefiano Autos; Agaba Ikwue of Aden360 and Opukiri Jones-Ere, the Managing Consultant Erupts Sports.
At the unveiling, Dalung commended the organisers for giving Nigerians, who cannot afford to travel to Russia for the World Cup equal opportunities to watch the game they love the most, especially the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
The minister also appealed to other private organisations to emulate the initiative of the organisers by giving back to the society through their investment.
“It is only in Nigeria that we have people with a lot of money, but they don’t invest. Any resource that is not invested does not add value to the economy.
“The organisers of this event put their resources together to create a scenario where people that cannot afford to travel to Russia for the World Cup would freely walk in here to watch all the matches live. By this singular gesture they have satisfied the national passion of the less privileged Nigerians. I challenge other private organisations to emulate this gesture and try to look at the areas they can invest,” Dalung said.
The Super Eagles are one of the 32 teams that will be participating in the coveted global football fiesta across Russian cities.
Dalung, who noted that the team qualified for the World Cup without recourse to the Presidential Task Force, and huge financial vote, however, insisted that he expected the team to return with the World Cup next month.
“I am a very optimistic person and that has to with my life. Through out my life journey, I don’t see anybody beating me and I don’t see any hurdles before me that can’t be overcome. I don’t expect anything less either from the team beside winning the cup. That is my prayer and optimism and plan for the team,” Dalung said.
He, however, lowered his expectation, advising Nigerians that while planning for the success of the Eagles, government has also projected for their failure in the World Cup campaign.
The minister asked Nigerians to also prepare their minds for disappointment so that they are not devastated when they results they expect are not forthcoming.
“But my honest projection is that our team will go beyond the first round and the round of 16 that have consistently remained our benchmark, ” Dalung said.