By Olawale Asake
As Nigeria’s Super Eagles prepare to take on the rest of the continent at the African Cup of Nations, AFCON, the Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan-Enoh has charged the team to imbibe the spirit of resilience and togetherness to bring the trophy back to the country.
In an address during the team’s farewell dinner, Senator Owan-Enoh emphasized the importance of wearing the Nigerian badge with patriotism at the tournament, urging the team to play for Nigeria and millions of football lovers at home.
“With over 200 million Nigerians eagerly watching and supporting, your performance holds the hopes and dreams of our entire nation,” Senator Owan-Enoh stated, highlighting the immense significance of the team’s representation on the continental stage.
Acknowledging the comprehensive support provided by President Bola Tinubu in ensuring the team’s readiness, the minister urged the Super Eagles to use every opportunity from the very first game and keep progressing in the tournament.
“Take the fight to your opponents and show the Naija Spirit that you carry”, he charged.
Senator Owan-Enoh pledged his presence in Ivory Coast to offer on-ground support and work closely with the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, to maintain focus and motivation within the team.
“I assure you of undistracted support and endeavor to secure all that is rightfully yours, ensuring your representation of the fatherland is marked by your commitment.” the minister said.
In attendance at the dinner include, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu who hosted the dinner, the Super Eagles players, Coach and technical team members, the NFF President, Ibrahim Musa Gusau and members of the board, and past president of the NFF, Mr Amaju Pinnick.
Nigeria is hunting for its fourth continental glory, after the triumphs of 1980, 1994, and 2013.
The Super Eagles will battle against Equatorial Guinea in its first game on Sunday, January 14th, before wrestling against the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire four days later while their last group game will be against the Wild Dogs of Guinea Bissau on January 22nd.