An elated Abdullahi told journalists that the team showed passion, discipline and commitment, saying these are hallmarks of the Nigerian spirit. “With the kind of overwhelming joy that followed the victory across our country, one cannot but feel that perhaps, these players are destined to win the trophy,” he said.
He promised that the Sport Commission would give the team additional sum of $100,000 if they win their next match and qualify for the final of the CHAN tournament, which is for players in the domestic leagues of participating countries.
The NSC had earlier offered the team an incentive of $100,000 if they beat Morocco and qualify for the semi-final, which they did in a dramatic manner and the minister promised the team would get the money before their next match on Wednesday.
Abdullahi stated the incentives are government’s way of motivating the players to give their best and triumph over their opponents.
Said he: “if the boys qualify for the final and go ahead to win the trophy, they can be confident that a grateful nation will remember for a long time to come that they, with typical Nigerian grits and determination, have extended our dominance of African football.”
He urged the team not to be carried away by the current euphoria, saying that they need to focus on the ultimate prize, which is the CHAN trophy.
“I have no doubt in my mind, that with the Almighty God on our side and with the same commitment and will to succeed, the home-based Super Eagles will continue to excel,” he said.