Minister of Youth and Sport, Solomon Dalung has appealed to Nigerians to show solidarity and support to ensure the success of Nigeria team at the FIFA World Cup in Russia
Dalung in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja by his Special Assistant, Media, Nneka Ikem-Anibeze, thanked the team for their commitment, patriotism and unity of purpose as the World Cup approaches.
He urged the team and other stakeholders to continue to produce the desired results in their friendly games and aspire to win the cup.
According to him, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) should not be distracted with the award of slots to prospective supporters to Russia.
“I sincerely commend the Federal Government and Nigerians for their unflinching support and solidarity to the team and officials.
“As we look forward to playing our remaining friendly matches with DR Congo, England and the Czech Republic, government assures that every step will be taken to ensure a smooth operation of the matches.
“I also appeal to Nigerians to show their solidarity and support to see the team to victory,’’ he said.
The minister commended the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Technical and coaching crew and urged them to remain focussed in their preparations for the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Dalung, however, emphasised that priority would be given to the team including officials before considering issues of sponsoring individuals.
“We appreciate the desire of Nigerians to travel to Russia and support the team but it is worthy of note that every plan on ground will focus on the welfare of the team and officials.
“The team having qualified for the World Cup is a Nigerian team, therefore, preparation of delegations and mobilisation of support is the exclusive preserve of the Federal Government of Nigeria,’’ he said.
Dalung, however, said that the NFF was preoccupied with preparation of the team and its officials for the competition and should not be distracted with the award of slots to prospective supporters to Russia.
“I urge the Federation to concentrate on its mandate and avoid the distraction of allocation of slots to people interested in traveling to Russia for the World Cup.
“However, any Nigerian with the capacity to travel to Russia to support the Super Eagles is not limited by this advice.
“I wish the Super Eagles of Nigeria the best and look forward to an amazing performance in Russia 2018,” Dalung said.