President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday lifted up the spirits of the national team, the Super Eagles, when he said all their outstanding Brazil 2014 World Cup appearance fee have been ordered cleared by Sports Minister, Hon Tammy Danagogo.
He also promised to clear any outstanding that the team may incur in the course of the championship, including outstanding FIFA grants to the NFF, that will be off-set later by the soccer ruling house.
The Minister made this declaration while addressing players and officials of the national team at their Brasilia Palace Hotel camp in the Brazilian capital.
He was in the company of the Nigerian Ambassador to Brazil, Adamu Azimeyeh Emozoza and top officials of the embassy, NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, his vice, Mike Umeh and Technical Committee Chairman, Chris Green.
The President, said Nigerians from all works of life have implicit confidence in the abilities of the team to excel at the ongoing World Cup, and promised to be in Brazil later in the week to cheer the team to victory. Already, Senate President David Mark is expected on Wednesday in Brazil and a precursor to the President’s arrival. The Minister said the President was particularly thrilled by the team’s outing so far even in the defeat to Argentina, urging the team to remain focused and not fear of non-payment of any outstanding due them.
The Minister, also announced that Nigerian business mogul, Dr Mike Adenuga Jnr, has sent through him the sum of $250,000 to boost the team ahead of their clash against France later this evening.. “He said this is a token and if the team goes ahead and shock the world he will join Mr President to shock the team” he declared amidst thunderous ovation from the players and their officials.
NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, said the country was very lucky to have a President like Goodluck Jonathan , who takes personal interest in the activities of the national team, assuring the President that the team will not let the nation down at this crucial point. Team Skipper, Joseph Yobo and Head Coach Stephen Keshi spoke in similar vein.
Later at the FIFA Media briefing, Chelsea star, John Mikel Obi, said the game against France is one that the team needs to make a statement that Nigeria has arrived at the soccer map of the world. “It’s a great opportunity for us and the weather will affect both sides but we hope to do what we have to do to win the match”, he declared.