Following Nigeria’s Dream Team VI victory at the just concluded U-23 Africa Cup of Nations, President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, applauded the team for their winning spirit.
Samson Siasia’s boys defeated Algeria 2-1 in the final match played at the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor in Dakar on Saturday night to win the tournament.
Also, the Nigeria Football Federation and multinational telecommunications company, Globacom, the official sponsor of the Nigerian national football teams, congratulated the team for their outstanding performance.
The President, in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Mallam Garba Shehu, noted that this was the first time that Nigeria attained this soccer glory in this particular category.
He said: “The boys have worked incredibly and admirably so hard to bring national glory to Nigeria. Their tenacity and the passion to excel were factors that propelled the U-23 team to victory.”
In addition, President Buhari was proud of the “talented and determined young Nigerians,” for bringing honour to the country and breaking the record of giving Nigeria that opportunity for the first time.
He then urged the boys to sustain the standard they have attained, adding that his government would give the team every support and encouragement to excel in the future.
The President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, in a statement posted on the federation’s website, said he was delighted to see the Nigerian team lift the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations in Dakar, Senegal.
He said: “This is another reason to celebrate; we are delighted.
“But we give a lot of credit to the players and the officials, led by Coach Samson Siasia, because they showed exceptional perseverance and unyielding spirit to do the nation proud.
“The NFF has a special praise for Coach Siasia; he was strong mentally and never lost focus, even in the face of odds. He deserves every encomium.”
According to the News Agency of Nigeria this triumph is the fourth major trophy in the 14-month life of the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF.
The first was the Super Falcons African Women Championship back in 2014, the Flying Eagles’ Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations win in Senegal earlier in the year, before going on to win the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile in November.
Also, a major partner of the Nigeria Football Federation Globacom in a statement congratulated the Nigeria U-23 team for their triumph at the African U-23 Nations Cup in Dakar, Senegal on Saturday.
The statement read: “We are delighted that the Dream Team overcame all adversities to triumph over Algeria, thereby adding to the sports laurels won by Nigeria in the outgoing year.
“We particularly commend the entire Nigerian team for taking the criticisms that greeted their initial poor performance in their stride and re-dedicated themselves to making Nigeria proud.
“We encourage this crop of creative footballers to go and conquer the world in football at the Olympic Games holding in Brazil, and thereafter make the national team the Dream Team that Nigeria is yearning for.”