By Victor Okoye
Minister of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung will lead a delegation of top officials to cheer on the Super Eagles when they clash with Ghana’s Black Stars in Sunday’s WAFU Cup of Nations final.
A statement from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Saturday said Dalung would be accompanied by the NFF President Amaju Pinnick.
“Also in the delegation to the Cape Coast Stadium is NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, who arrived in the Ghanaian capital on Friday.
“Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr also flew into Accra on Saturday and will be in the stands.
“Head Coach of Super Eagles B, Salisu Yusuf is Chief Coach of the A team where Rohr is technical adviser,’’ it said.
The statement also noted that Dalung has been an ever-present guest in Super Eagles’ most crucial matches in the past year.
“He undisputable brings a rich vein of fortune around the team with the Eagles now only one win away from a sixth appearance in the FIFA World Cup finals,’’ it said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister led the Nigerian delegation to the 2-1 win over Zambia in Ndola at the start of the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.
He was equally in Uyo for the 3-1 thrashing of Algeria.
He was there in Uyo when the Eagles bashed African champions Cameroon 4-0 and also arrived in Yaounde in time to see the 1-1 draw three days later.
To reach the championship match, the Super Eagles B, who qualified for the 5th African Nations Championship finals after a 2-1 aggregate win over Benin Republic in August, ejected Sierra Leone with a 2-0 win in the first knock-out phase.
They also drew 0-0 with Mali and Guinea before seeing off hosts Ghana 2-0 in last group phase attrition.
In the semi-finals, CHAN qualifying victims Benin Republic were turned back 1-0, meaning Nigeria has yet to concede a goal in the sub-regional football fiesta.
Sunday’s match will kick off at 6 p.m. Ghana time (7 p.m. Nigeria time), and victory for the Super Eagles will mean a seventh major trophy for the Pinnick-led administration.
The administration’s first trophy was the Women Africa Cup of Nations title won by the Super Falcons in Namibia in Oct. 2014.
It was followed by the Supers and Eagles’ triumph in the COPA Lagos International Invitational Tournament (December 2014) and the Flying Eagles’ Africa U-20 title in Senegal (March 2015).
The latest being the Golden Eaglets’ FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile (November 2015), the U-23 team’s Africa U-23 title in Senegal (December 2015) and the Super Falcons’ Women Africa Cup of Nations title in Cameroon (December 2016).