It was a gathering of who’s who in Rivers State, as the state Governor, Nyesom Wike, his deputy, the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, top government functionaries, first class traditional rulers, all the local government chairmen and sports stakeholders from across the country honoured the first seminar organised for the Super Eagles to galvanised support for their participation at the Russia 2018 World Cup.
Expectedly, the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, who was represented by a Director, Mrs. Aluko, the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, former director general of the sports ministry, Dr. Patrick Ekeji, the first black African coach to lead a team to the World Cup, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, former Golden Eaglets’ coach, Fanny Amun, former director general of the Nigeria Broadcasting Service, Mallam Danladi Bako all graced the occasion.
The Managing Director of The Sun, Mr. Eric Osagie, while welcoming the guests said The Sun Publishing decided to organised the World Cup seminar not only to galvanised support for the Super Eagles, but to create the belief and confidence that the Super Eagles can win the World Cup in Russia.
“We believe sports is passion, it’s life and big business. In the brotherhood of sports, Nigerians are united; everybody understands the language of soccer. The Sun organised the seminar to galvanise the Super Eagles towards Russia 2018 World Cup, to win. We believe, ‘Yes we can’”, he said.
The Sun MD expressed appreciation to the Rivers State Government for hosting the seminar, adding that Rivers State had become the hub of hosting major sports events because the governor loves and supports sports.
NFF president, while thanking The Sun for the initiative, applauded the Rivers State Government for the bold step in hosting the seminar.
Amaju said he’s amazed at Nigerians cynism that the Super Eagles can’t win the World Cup.
He assured that the players had been motivated and are comfortable to make Nigeria proud in Russia.
Delivering a paper titled “That the Super Eagles may excel in Russia”, Chief Onigbinde said the players need psychological, intellectual, medical, physiological, technical and tactical fitness and backed with adequate support from the federation to win the World Cup.
To Mallam Bako, in his paper, “Galvanising support for the Super Eagles, the role of media, government and the private sector, the players must have unity of purpose, have the can win spirit, while the government provide the encouragement by relating directly with the team.” He enjoined the private sector to identify with the NFF to reduce dependence on government.
Mallam Bako applauded the Amaju-led NFF for the robust relationship with the sports ministry, which had reduced the incessant squabbles between them.