Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday charged the Super Eagles to play fair and clean and make Nigeria proud at the 2018 World Cup billed to start in Russia on the 14th of June 2018.
While noting that as the youngest team going to the World Cup, the Super Eagles might be seen as inexperienced by their opponents, Buhari urged them to take advantage of the age and leave lasting impression, bearing in mind they have the support of over 180 million Nigerians.
The president spoke at a forum to formally bid the Russia 2018 World Cup bound Super Eagles farewell at the Council Chamber of the State House, Abuja.
According to Buhari: “You are going to represent us in Russia, you must bear in mind that you are not just going for a tournament, with each game, you must remember that you are carrying the passions, emotions and feelings of over 180 million people. Play fair and clean, but demonstrate the gallant spirit, which Nigerians are known for.
“Nothing unites Nigerians more than football and nothing will gladden the people of Nigeria more than for you to acquit yourself honourably by winning in Russia.
“You are the youngest team in the tournament, which means you are likely the most inexperienced team, a fact that will not be lost on your opponents. But it is also something that you can use to your advantage.
“You have the full support and the blessings of all Nigerians, who will look up to you for as long as the tournament last.
“I commend the Nigerian Football Federation for drawing up the right programme that is helping to refine the team to the powerful force, which it’s meant to be.
“This is our time; we look up to you to make us proud. All Nigerians join me in saying to you, best of luck. Thank you and God be with you all.”