The First Lady, Mrs Oluremi Tinubu, has applauded the Super Falcons for displaying thorough sportsmanship at the FIFA Women’s World Cup co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
Oluremi who said this while welcoming the members of the Nigerian female football team and their officials on Monday in Abuja, said the players should see themselves as role models.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Super Falcons had on Aug. 7, crashed out of the tournament, having lost through penalties to England.
Oluremi said the professionalism displayed on the field by the players gladdened her heart, that of President Bola Tinubu, and many Nigerians even as they did not get the trophy.
“The dedication and resilience you displayed on the field has earned Mr President and other Nigerians immense respect and admiration.
“This could only have been accomplished through good team spirit, handwork and discipline.
“Although the final result did not go our way, victory is not solely determined by the result on the field, however, the unbreakable spirit and unity that you demonstrated are true markers of success.
“The entire world noticed the unwavering strength and zeal that defines Nigeria through the posterity you displayed on the soccer field.
“ I celebrate all of you for displaying high level of true sportsmanship on the pitch.
“You have not only represented Nigeria on the global stage but you have also become role models for our youths, especially young girls who now see their aspiration mirrored in you, “she said.
The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) President, Ibrahim Gusau on behalf of the team, thanked the first lady and Tinubu for their support before, during and after their performance at the tournament.
However, he promised that all the entitlements of the team and their officials shall be paid accordingly.
“I want to express our gratitude to you for being part of the send off organised for the team before their departure to Australia, it really serves as a morale booster to the team.
“By reason of their round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup, the players will earn a sum of 60,000 dollars each, the NFF really wanted the team to go further in order for the players to earn more money which they truly deserve.
“I want to assure that the players and the officials will be paid all their entitlements as soon as we receive the world cup money from FIFA.
The Captain of the team, Onome Ebi, also appreciated the first lady and the president for their support, especially with the dinner and for the warm reception.
“I feel happy about our performance at the same time, sad because it was not what we planned to achieve but I and my teammates showed the world that we wanted to get to the last.
“However, it is unfortunate that it happened that we were knocked down by penalty which is so emotional to us because we aimed so higher.”