President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday congratulated the Super Falcons of Nigeria on their victory over the Banyana Banyana of South Africa on Saturday in the final match of the 11th Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON), Ghana 2018.
Falcons won the match by 4 to 3 goals at the Accra Sports Stadium to emerge African champions.
The match got to extra time and penalty kicks before the winner could be decided.
In a statement issued by his media aide, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President expressed delight at the discipline and commitment exhibited by the country’s team despite the stiff resistance of their South African counterparts.
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Noting that the Super Falcons had earlier qualified to represent Nigeria at the FIFA Women World Cup tournament in France next year, President Buhari described winning the AWCON for the third consecutive time and ninth overall, as the “icing on the cake.”
He praised the country’s female football ambassadors for doing their fatherland proud and showing clear dominance on the African continent.
The president urged them to approach the France 2019 competition with clear focus and determination to excel on the global stage.
President Buhari also commended the team’s coaching crew, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Supporters Club and all football-loving citizens for adequately preparing and supporting the players.
He enjoined all stakeholders not to relent in rallying round the country’s football representatives going forward.
“I have never doubted the capacity of Nigerians to excel when given the right support,” he noted, while promising the Federal Government’s commitment to sports development as a unifying force.
In the same vein, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, while congratulating the Super Falcons expressed happiness at the discipline and commitment exhibited by the Super Falcons despite the pressure and stiff competition from their South African counterparts.
“I commend the Falcons for their resilience and determination. They have made us proud and it is my hope that they will consolidate on this victory to represent Nigeria effectively at the FIFA Women World Cup tournament in France next year.
“This victory no doubt has restored our national pride and confidence as the most successful team in the tournament having won the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations title for a record ninth time out of 11 times,” he said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Aniagwu.
While commending the team for making Nigeria proud by their clear dominance on the African continent, Governor Okowa urged the team to approach the FIFA Women World Cup tournament in France with zeal and determination to change the narrative and excel on the global stage.
Okowa also showered encomiums on the coaching crew, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Supporters Club and all football-loving Nigerians for the support and motivation to the players, adding that Delta State Government will continue to partner with the NFF and other stakeholders in rallying round the country’s football representatives at all times.
In a related development, Okowa congratulated President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr Amaju Pinnick, as he turned 45 years on Saturday December 1, 2018.
The Governor described the NFF boss as an illustrious son and a good ambassador of Delta State, whose dedication and contributions to the round leather game in Nigeria, Africa and the world remained indelible.
He noted that Pinnick’s firm belief in revolutionising football administration in Nigeria had paid off in his achievements since he was first elected as NFF President in 2014.