President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday in Abuja received the trophy of the just concluded African Women Championship (AWC) from the winners, Nigeria’s Super Falcons.
Falcons defeated Cameroon 2-0 in the final of the ninth edition of the tournament in Windhoek, Namibia while the team presented the trophy at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, before the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
Speaking shortly after receiving the trophy, Jonathan commended the players and officials of the team for their “rare commitment, discipline, and patriotism’’.
“Today we are quite pleased to receive the cup from you and it is good to do so because you just came in and it is good to keep the spirit on; and you’ve made the country proud. We are indeed happy.
“Nigeria is known to be a football country. The male teams have been doing very well, but somehow sometimes because of certain internal crisis we tend to lag behind, but the female teams have been doing wonderfully well.
“On behalf of the good people of this great country, Nigeria, we thank you for your commitment, because it requires discipline to achieve this height.
“No matter how good you are, even in academics – I was a student and teacher too – we’ve seen brilliant boys and girls who ordinarily would have made first class but lack of discipline prevents them from getting that first class.
“So, if there is no discipline you cannot excel in anything. You have the skills, but you have also shown consummate discipline that has made you to defend your country.
“We remain grateful to you. We will continue to adore and honour you.
“So we intend to formally receive you on the Nov. 5. Normally it’s about 7 p.m. in the State House here, so that we can at least, as a nation, as your fathers and your uncles, appreciate the achievements you have made,“ he said.
The team was led to the Villa by the Minister of Sport, Mr Tamuno Danagogo, and the Chairman of the Nigeria Football Association, Mr Amaju Pinnick.
Speaking earlier, Sports Minister Danagogo attributed the team’s victory to discipline, dedication and patriotism as well as the backing of the president.
“Over the years we have been dominating female football in Africa, but between 2010 and 2012 we wobbled and lost it.
“But due to your tenacity and support we have been able to re-assert and reclaim our status as the undisputed champions in female football in Africa.
“The discipline, dedication, passion, and patriotism displayed by these girls during this competition are unequalled.
“That is why this morning we have come with the golden Super Falcons to present the golden cup which they won in the last edition of the competition in Namibia,“ the minister stated.
The seventh time the Falcons are winning the trophy since the tournament began in 1998. (NAN)