Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Bring Nations Cup Home, Jonathan Tells Eagles

President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, implored the country's national team, Super Eagles to do whatever it could to win all their remaining matches in the on-going Africa Cup of Nations tournament in South Africa and bring the trophy back home.

Speaking with the team members both collectively and individually during a tele- conference, the president said that government on its part would make them "proud young men" if they bring back the cup.

Jonathan who made a skype call to the eagles assured the team of the support of Nigerians and told the team that hopes were high back home that the super eagles would make Nigerians happy and proud.

Speaking first with the team's coach, Stephen Keshi, President Jonathan asked after the spirit in the camp. Keshi assured him that "the spirit of the boys is high".

The president told Keshi: "On behalf of this country I want to tell you that Nigerians are very happy with your performance. We are looking up to you.

Just last night we kicked off our centenary celebration. We believe that you will bring the cup to your fatherland this year.

"We are very hopeful; we are all proud of you; we are all happy with what you have done and we want you to do more. Nigerians are proud of you. We expect that you will bring the cup this year. The country promises you the best".

After speaking with the coach, the president spoke with the players individually and they all filed to the camera one after the other to speak with the President.

Super Eagles Captain, Joseph Yobo assured the president that the team would do its best to bring back the cup, and said "we appreciate you (president) and by the grace of God we will bring back the cup to you".

Also speaking during the presidential call, the President of the Nigerian Football Federation promised that the team will bring back the cup so that the "smile of the president would be broader".

Director General of the National Sports Commission, Patrick Ekeji told State House Correspondents after the skype call that the team was happy with the call by the president.

He said, "I can assure you that the boys are charged. The watershed of this competition was the match against Ivory Coast. Nobody can stop our team anymore. Our boys now want the cup. I will call for drinks tomorrow (today) because the boys will maul Mali".

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