The Sports Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Chinyeaka Ohaa, said this while addressing the players and officials after the 2-0 defeat of Denmark in Saturday’s quarter final match in Salvador.
He said, “I am happy to be a Nigerian, because in spite of all the challenges, you have taken the world by storm; you have by your performance given happiness to more than 160 million Nigerians. Football is the biggest unifying factor in Nigeria today. From Mr. President to the average Nigerian you have made everyone proud today.
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“I am humbled by your efforts, your commitment, your patriotism. I want to assure you that your sacrifices will not be in vain. Aside whatever the NFF have for you, we will as much as possible make you happy, if only you will be patient with us. Today, with your performance, I am convinced that you will get that gold.”
In his response, Mikel said, “We want to thank you for your fatherly support. In truth, there have been a lot of challenges, but every time we go onto the field, we forget about everything and make sure our fatherland comes first.
“We have done that so far and we will continue to do that, but we need more motivation.”