President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on Sunday lifted the spirits of the national team, the Super Eagles, when he said all their outstanding Brazil 2014 World Cup appearance fees have been ordered cleared by the Minister of Sport and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Dr. Tammy Danagogo.
Jonathan also promised to clear any outstanding that the team may incur in the course of the championship, including outstanding FIFA grants to the Nigeria Football Federation, which 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; top officials of the embassy; the NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari; his deputy, Chief Mike Umeh; and the Chairman of the Technical Committee, Chris Green.
Jonathan 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, the President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, is expected on Wednesday in Brazil as a precursor to the President’s arrival.
Danagogo said Jonathan was particularly thrilled by the team’s outing so far, even in the defeat to Argentina, urging the team to remain focused and not entertain 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 $250,000 to boost the team ahead of their clash against France on Monday.
“He said this is a token and if the team goes ahead and shocks the world, he will join Mr.
President to shock the team,” Danagogo declared amidst thunderous ovation from the players and their officials.
Maigari said the country was very lucky to have a President like Jonathan, who takes personal interest in the activities of the national team.
He promised Jonathan 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 on 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,” Obi declared.