Nigeria’s Sports Minister Sunday Akin Dare has finally given his verdict following the country’s failure of to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar later this year.
The Super Eagles played missed out on a spot at the Mundial in November a drawing 1-1 against the Black Stars in a second-leg playoff qualifier on Tuesday, March 29.
The 1-1 stalemate at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja saw Ghana booked their ticket to the World Cup through an away goal advantage.
Mr. Dare earlier boasted ahead of the first leg fixture in Kumasi that the Super Eagles were going to beat the sh*t out of Ghana.
Dare has now reacted to the failure of the Super Eagles with a statement;
“It is most unfortunate and regrettable that we are not going to Qatar, but that is sports. Nothing is 100% certain.
“On our part, the Federal Government gave every support necessary. We got the stadium ready in all its glory. We mobilized Nigerians and other football lovers to fill up the stadium. The NFF called up a solid cast of players.
“60,000 voices sang the National anthem in what must have been one of the most uplifting moments one could imagine. The fans gave their vocal support till the very end. The president of the nation, though saddened by the tragic events in Kaduna was determined to lend his support,
“And not let terrorists determine and define the activities and schedules of the Nation and its leaders with their opportunistic and wicked acts. – which would be kowtowing to their agenda. On day, it wasn’t enough.
However, Mr. Dare condemned the crowd troubles that happened at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium after the final whistle.
Fans invaded the pitch and started destroying and vandalizing properties and also attacked some other persons.
“Vandalizing and destroying sporting infrastructure at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium is not acceptable regardless of unhappiness. The Nigerians that did this must be condemned.
“When I watched the clips and after I inspected the damage, knowing the work and the amount of efforts and resources that have gone into resuscitating the edifice, both from the private and public sectors, it was just very saddening.
“In a single day, I was weighed down by our missing out of the World Cup and then the vandalization. A very sad development. I saw a number of young persons destroying valuable items in the stadium. Obviously, as Nigerians, they have a right to be disappointed,
“but they do not have the right to destroy public property in which monies from taxpayers and funds from patriotic private individuals were invested. No excuse can be advanced for destroying infrastructure put in place to fix infrastructure gaps.”
The reaction from Dare comes after the Nigeria Football Federation issued an apology to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government over the Super Eagles’ failure to pick up a World Cup ticket.
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