The Nigeria Football Federation President, Ambassador Chris Giwa has revealed that the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung has promised $10,000 to the Falconets to go all out for the three points and qualify for the quarter finals at the ongoing U-20 World Cup in France.
Giwa noted that though a draw was good enough for the girls to progress from the group, he, however, stated that going all out for the maximum points will give them the competitive edge needed to excel and qualify.
“Many times when you decide to settle for a draw, it could back fire, unlike when you fight for a win, as if that is what is needed to qualify, though a draw will be good enough. We want the Falconets to up their game against the Chinese tomorrow,” he noted.
The NFF President further pointed out : “the Chinese will be as desperate as the Falconets, if not more, considering the slight advantage our girls have ahead of them. They will definitely fight for the maximum points, which is why we also want our girls fight till the end.”
“We are happy with the news that there are no injury worries in camp and the girls are in high spirit after the visit of the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung before their match against Haiti.
The minister beyond his fatherly counsel to them, also promised the girls 10,000 dollars, if they win their last group game. So we are confident they are well motivated to do the nation proud,” Ambassador Giwa disclosed.
On his part, the Acting General Secretary, Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme said: “these girls remain our best female ambassadors at the global level given their antecedents, especially in 2010 and 2014, when they played in the finals on both occasions.”
Dr Ikpeme noted: “the girls will step up their game against the Chinese because they seem to rise to the occasion, whenever the stakes are high. They know what is at stake and will do their best to qualify from the group.”
The Acting General Secretary further told the Coach Christopher Danjuma tutored girls that Nigerians will be supporting them in prayers as they battle the Asians in a make or mar encounter.
Meanwhile, Coach Christopher Danjuma is likely to retain the squad that defeated Haiti last Thursday in their second group game to jump to the second spot on the table.
There are, however, strong indications that Rasheedat Ajibade, the FC Robo Queens forward, could still captain the Falconets, but many will expect her to up her game and exhibit the potentials that have made her fans favourite any time she wears the national colour.
One other player Nigerians will look up to as they face the very mobile Chinese will be goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie, who stood between the Haitians and goal in the second group game, which earned her the Man-of-the-Match award.
The Falconets have only failed once to go beyond the group stage, which was at the inaugural edition in Canada in 2002.