Redeem promise to flying Eagles 1983 World Cup squad ―Reps to FG

Flying Eagles 1983 captain Ali Jeje, introducing Paul Okoku to former President Shehu Shagari
Flying Eagles 1983 captain Ali Jeje, introducing Paul Okoku to former President Shehu Shagari

The House of Representatives on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to redeem the promise made to the members of the Flying Eagles team of 1983, which qualified Nigeria for the under-20 World Cup in Mexico.

In the alternative, the House advised the Government to modernize the promise the members of the squad as a show of appreciation for lifting the name of the Country before the comity of nations.

Consequently the House mandated the committee on Sports to liaise with the Ministry of Youths and Sports to ensure implementation and report back to the House within six weeks.

The resolution followed the adoption, a motion sponsored by the member representing Zaria federal constituency of Kaduna state, Hon. Tajudeen Abass, on the matter at the plenary yesterday.

Hon Abass lamented that successive administrations had paid only lip service to rewarding the team or fulfilling the promise to award scholarship to every player in the team.

The lawmaker pointed that the National Lottery Commission, which was established to fund the nation’s sportsmen and women had not lived up to its expectations in that regard.

According to him, “The 1983 Flying Eagles team was the first Nigerian national football team to qualify for any Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) organised football tournament.”

“The federal government promised to award scholarship in any academic institution of choice to the members of the team, government must be desirous of rewarding the surviving members of the team and establish a template for the award of sportsmen and sportswomen who win laurels for the country in international competitions and tournaments.”

The House also resolved that government should as an alternative reward any player who is late or not interested in academic pursuits by monetising the award.

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