Organisers of Nigerian Sports Award (NSA) have lauded the Super Eagles for securing the Russia 2018 World Cup ticket after beating Zambia. It equally commended Nigeria’s number one Table Tennis champion, Aruna Quadri, for winning the ITTF Polish Open. The Nigerian defeated Japan’s Kaii Yoshida after six sets (11-7, 11-13 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 14-12) to become the first African to win an ITTF title outside the continent.
The NSA, which said Nigeria can win the World Cup giving certain conditions, in a statement signed by the executive member of the panel, Kayode Idowu, expressed delight over the hard won victory even as he commended the coaching crew, the management of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and other sports stakeholders for rallying round the team to secure the ticket.
Kayode said: “It is most gratifying news to see Nigeria qualifying to fly the nation’s flag in next year’s World Cup holding in Russia. For us in NSA, we are most excited about the qualification. We believe achievement such as this is a clear testimony to the improvement being witnessed in football and other sports in general.
“We also believe it can only get better as we have seen in some other sports. I think commendations should go to all the players for giving everything to earn this most coveted ticket. We must commend the team, the coaching crew for putting up a gallant fight to secure the ticket. They truly deserve all the accolades. If you follow the last few matches, you would notice the level of consistency and skillful display by the national team. The victories over other archrivals in the group alone are pointers that Nigeria has what it takes to beat any team if there is unity of purpose and drive to succeed. By this feat, it has shown that Nigeria football and sports in general can still get back to its rightful place that we were known for.
While applauding the Nigerian Football Federation and Federal Ministry of Sports on the Super Eagles’ sterling performance, he tasked them to support the team by starting preparation in earnest to avoid a repeat of the last outing at the World cup.
According to him, with quality friendlies and adequate training, Nigeria has what it takes to surprise the World Cup by being the first African country to win the cup
Similarly, the NSA praised Aruna for putting up outstanding performance at the Open that saw him emerge winner. It, however, advised the tennis federation to lend their support to the tennis sensation as the World Cup draws near, noting that Aruna needs all the backing to perform excellently.