Sports Minister Barr. Solomon Dalung says he is confident that the Super Eagles of Nigeria have what it takes to emerge winners of their group at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The Eagles, who will be making their sixth appearance at the global showpiece, were drawn in Group D alongside South American giants, Argentina, and European teams – Croatia and Iceland.
Having gone through the qualifiers undefeated and winning a high-profile international friendly against Argentina last month, the Minister believes with ‘good work’ and ‘good training’, the team can pull off their best ever group stage performance in Russia.
Speaking to State House correspondents after his closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday, Dalung shared on how the Federal Government plans to support the team ahead of the tournament.
“We have a conservative budget of about N3bn but out of that, FIFA is going to raise about N900m; our sponsors and partners are also going to bring about N600m. Government will conservatively raise about N2bn or N2.5bn to complement,” the Minister said.
“One of the challenges we have been facing in sports administration is the welfare of the players and the officiating team and we intend to set a new approach to the question of welfare.
“By March, we intend to start paying the players their allowances, camping allowances upfront. That will go a long way to boost the morale and confidence of the players.”
He added: “We are comfortable with the team because having tested Argentina, who are highly ranked team in the group.
“We can say confidently that with good work, good training, good welfare for the players and team spirit, we will top that group going by the disposition of our national team.”
The Super Eagles will begin their campaign against Croatia on June 16, 2018, before facing Iceland in matchday 2 and ending the group stages with the tie against Argentina.
RipplesNigeria… without borders, without fears