By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah, Abuja
Minister of Sports,Solomon Dalung has boasted that Nigeria’s outing at next year’s World Cup in Russia would witness a spectacular performance, different from previous ones.
He said now that the Super Eagles qualified for the global tournament,the players are not going there as spectators but as a team which others will have to contend with.
Speaking to State House Correspondents yesterday, he said logistics for the Nigerian team and other officials were already being worked out.
He said Nigeria’s recent defeat of Algeria was a statement that the country was ready to confront the world through soccer.
He said,”Today the Federal Executive Council(FEC) was officially informed that Nigeria had qualified for the World Cup Russia 2018 having completed our match with Algeria and rounded up all our competitions without conceding any goal in the entire campaign.
“I congratulated Nigerians and the government of Nigeria but the rider to that was that in our plans for Russia 2018, we have a driving philosophy, our principle for 2018 is that Nigeria is not going to Russia as spectator, we are contenders and that the world should watch out for the new Nigerian soccer, so we engage Argentina and Argentina is one of the highly ranked football association in Nigeria.
“So we engage the team to test and from the outcome of what happened yesterday there is no doubt that Nigeria has made a statement. The joy of it all is that there is a unity of purpose among the administrators, our players are in high spirit and they are prepared to make Nigeria proud.
“This victory couldn’t have been possible if there was no consensus of all the stakeholders in the football family, when I talk about stakeholders, I am looking at football fans, am looking at the media,private sector, the government,partners and the promoters.
“But we will continue to work hard to make this country proud, if we enjoy this type of support I want to assure Nigerians that trophy will be heading towards the greatest economy in Africa, the giant of Africa, Nigeria”