15th June, 2010
Minister/Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Ibrahim Isah Bio, has commended the Super Eagles for their spirited display against tournament favourites, Argentina, in Saturdayâ€™s FIFA World Cup Group B match at Ellis Park.
Nigeria lost the match 0-1 but took so much away from the game after a battling performance that demystified Argentinaâ€™s mega-class strikers and earned goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama Man of the Match award.
â€œI am here on behalf of the Leader of Federal Government delegation to this championship, Senator David Mark, who said I should inform you that you all did your very best and that the entire nation back home is proud of you. He said he has not received one negative message since the match and that all Nigerians have for you are praises.
â€œIn this spirit, I urge you to have it in your minds that the Government and people of Nigeria are fully behind you in the campaign and will be looking forward to your giving your best in the remaining two matches of the group phase, in order for you to qualify for the knock-out round.
â€œI believe you can do it and I believe you will do it,â€ said Bio when he met with the players at their Protea Hotel Waterfront, Richardâ€™s Bay on Monday afternoon.
The Minister was accompanied by the Minister of Youth Development, Akinlabi Olasunkanmi, Director-General of the National Sports Commission, Chief Patrick Ekeji, Minister of the Nigeria High Commission in South Africa, Mamman Nuhu, one-time Secretary General of the then Nigeria Football Association, Alhaji Sani Ahmed Toro and the ministerâ€™s protocol officer.
They were received at the Eaglesâ€™ Protea Hotel Waterfront by Chairman of the NFF technical committee and a Member of the NFF Executive Committee, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi. Ogunjobi, a former international defender and one-time Secretary General of the NFF, thanked the delegation for coming and assured that the players are in the right spirit to go all out in the matches against Greece and Korea.
Nigeria play Greece in a must-win Group B match at the 45,000-capacity Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Thursday.