By Joseph Aigbonosumua
The factional President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Chris Giwa charged the Under-20 female team the Falconets, to exhibit the spirit of patriotism, discipline and sportsmanship at the ongoing FIFA Under-20 women World Cup in France.
The Falconets lost 0-1 to former world champions, Germany on Monday at Saint Malo in their first game of the tournament and are expected to face Haiti and China on Aug. 9 and Aug. 13, in their second and third encounter respectively.
A statement issued by Giwa’s Senior Special Assistant on Media Victor Iroele, however, quoted the NFF President as saying: “You are out there as our Ambassadors and we expect nothing but the best from you. His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR and the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung send their felicitations to you.”
“We believe in you and trust your ability to fly the flag of the country honorably in the spirit of sportsmanship. We expect nothing but compete clean and fair because we believe in dignity of our nation,” Giwa said.
He urged the players and officials to be focused as the federation would do everything in its powers to give them what was due to them.
“Like I told you, allowances and match bonuses for all age group teams have been restored and we will ensure you get all your entitlements.
“If you recall, the Honorable Minister of Sports, was not happy when he visited the team at your Austria camp over unpaid allowances and some of the issues he highlighted will be addressed in no time.
“As a father, I will make sure you do not suffer any neglect during the championships and beyond,” he added.
The Acting General Secretary, Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme enjoined the team to live above board while assuring them of all necessary support to excel at the championships.
“You are a shining light and great Ambassadors in whom we are well pleased. I have followed your performances from the qualifiers to where you are today, and have no doubt that you will make us proud,” Ikpeme said.
The national Under-20 female team finished second at the 2010 and 2014 editions of the World Cup