Buhari, Alaafin salute victorious Super Eagles
Monarch seeks sports policy
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday hailed the Super Eagles, saying their away victory over Zambia at the weekend is not only a tonic for Nigeria in these difficult times, but also a confidence booster that the indomitable Nigerian spirit is well and alive.
Nigeria begun its qualifying campaign for Russia 2018 World Cup by beating Zambia 2-1 in Ndola, a development President Buhari describes as “cheery and soul-lifting.”
He said it was a sign of good things to come, urging the team not to rest on its oars till it eventually qualifies for the global soccer fiesta.
“This is but the first step in a long journey. However, that step has been well taken. An away victory at this level, in which the stakes are quite high, is remarkable. The ultimate is to qualify for Russia 2018, and fly Nigeria’s flag alongside those of other giant soccer playing nations. I look forward to that, and I urge the team and their handlers to always keep their eyes on the ball,” President Buhari said.
Meanwhile, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi, has described Super Eagles’ victory over Zambia in a FIFA World Cup qualifying match in Ndola at the weekend as the beginning of a new era for the senior national team.
The Yoruba monarch, who claimed to have played football actively during his youthful days in the 50s, thumped up the superlative action displayed by the team he described as a relatively ‘young squad’.
Alaafin said, “These new boys can be relied upon as they have showed a good character and strong winning mentality which is lacking for a long time in our senior national football team”.
Speaking during at a boxing tournament organized by UBC World belt holder, Mojeed Okedara, to celebrate the 78th birthday anniversary of Alaafin coming up on October 15.
Alaafin, however, called on the government to formulate a sports policy for the sector to develop without relying on government for funding.
“It was so disgraceful for a country like Nigeria to go to the Olympics with just a boxer considering our high pedigree in boxing, which dated back to the 50s”, he noted.