In a bid to boost the morale of the Under-23 Flying Eagles (Dream Team), the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, paid a historic visit to the team where they are camped in the nation’s capital, even as he promised to strengthen the domestic league and make it more attractive to viewers all over the world..
- While addressing the players, the Minister stated ‘’I think the closest I have seen you play is on television, I did watched you on Saturday and you played out your heart, that is the way it is with sports.’’ He added that ‘’life is like sports; sometimes you win, sometimes you lose but when you lose there is still a winner when you bring the lesson learnt to bear’’.
- Mr. Dare reminded the Dream Team that as they prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that millions of sports loving Nigerians are supporting them, adding that the players should prove themselves as true ambassadors and talented soccer players who will bring glory to the country. He also urged the players to represent Nigeria well in their qualifying matches with Egypt and Kenya.
- In a similar vein, the Minister described the domestic league as critical, particularly for the footballers, because it is the place where talents could be discovered and nurtured for professional football and the national team.
5.. The Minister stated that ‘’domestic league will not be allowed to die, we are going to fix it as we go along, right now I can say the league is still alive.
‘’We are working together with the NFF, club owners and the state government, we are working together to see what kind of re-engineering and new efforts we can bring to strengthen our league and make it more attractive.
- He told the media at the camp ground that the Ministry is working with the major stakeholders to see how the content of the domestic league can be brought to television. ‘’The Ministry is doing a whole lot of work in the engine room; we don’t want it to play out in the media so that we are not distracted,” he explained.
- In his welcome remarks, the Secretary General Dr. Mohammed Sanusi of the Nigeria Football Federation thanked the Minister for finding time to visit the team and boost the players’ morale adding that the innovations brought to sports by the Minister are appreciated by the footballers and all sports loving Nigerians.
- Mr. Dare thanked the Coach and other handlers for their hard work and for bringing the players this far. He said the Ministry will give the necessary support wherever needed.
For: Director Press