Acting President of world football governing body, FIFA, Alhaji (Dr) Issa Hayatou has felicitated with the Nigeria Football Federation over the Golden Eaglets’ successful defence of the FIFA U-17 World Cup at Chile 2015, the NFF has announced.
Nigeria's new sports minister, Mr Solomon Dalong, has also given kudos to the triumphant youngsters.
In a letter dated 11th November and addressed to NFF President Amaju Pinnick, Hayatou commended the efforts of the Nigerian youngsters in retaining a title they had won for a record fourth time in the United Arab Emirates two years ago.
“On behalf of the international football family, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to the Golden Eaglets on retaining the FIFA U-17 World Cup crown in Chile last Sunday, a record fifth championship at this level.
“Your triumph was undoubtedly by a team effort and besides the players who performed so well, I would also like to give special mention to your Coach Emmanuel Amuneke, to the entire technical, administrative and medical team, and to all your fans.
“This victory is proof that another very exciting generation of Nigerian footballers is emerging and I am looking forward to seeing them further develop and reach even greater heights in the game.”
Newly appointed Minister of Youth and Sports Dalong on Wednesday night, in what was his first official assignment after taking the oath of office earlier in the day, gave kudos to the Golden Eaglets for winning a record fifth FIFA U-17 World Cup at Chile 2015.
Speaking at reception organized by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports led by Director-General Sports, Alhassan Yakmut, for the Golden Eaglets and the Scrabble World Cup-winning team at the Transcorp Hiton Hotel in Abuja, Dalong said Nigerians were happy with the Eaglets for representing the country with pride in Chile. He equally challenged administrators to be alive to their responsibilities in order to change the face of the sport sector of the economy.
"The performance of the Golden Eaglets at the World Cup has shown that success has so many fathers," said Dalong." If they had lost, Nigerians would have not have welcomed with love. But their victory has once again shown that sport is a universal tool for our unity because the players were picked from different places but they were united as one in Chile.
"We want to thank them and their officials for making us proud with their performance," he stated, advising administrators to find a lasting solution to all manner of malaise, including internal wrangling, which has endangered the growth of sports in the country over the years."
Coach Emmanuel Amuneke gave the vote of thanks, calling on both Muslim and Christian sports administrators in the country to embrace God in order to discharge their duties without fear or favour and to treat equally every Nigerian irrespective of ethnic or religious differences.