Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
As they file out in their first match Saturday against Burundi, in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2019) holding in Egypt, President Muhammmadu Buhari has charged national football team Super Eagles to play every match in the honour of Nigeria.
The President also enjoined the Super Eagles to be mindful of fair play and sportsmanlike conduct, as they strive to return home with the AFCON trophy.
In a statement by the President’s Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Mr Buhari urged the national team to lift the flag of Nigeria high and reinforce the reputation of the country as a football powerhouse on the continent.
“I will be watching, just as millions of Nigerians would also do. You have our solid support, and we will cheer you to victory,” President Buhari said.
He noted that football is a strong unifying force for Nigerians, and urged the Super Eagles to provide a soothing balm to the many challenges facing the country, which the government is confronting with everything at its disposal.
“Nigerians are known for their unconquerable spirit. Show this in the group stages, and even beyond. Nothing but lifting of the diadem is good enough for our country,” the President stated.