The secretary-general of Nigeria Olympic Committee, Banji Oladapo has charged the country’s male and female football national teams to ensure they bounce back to their former status as perennial qualifiers for the Olympiad, megasportsarena.com reports.
Speaking against the backdrop of the recent qualification of Nigeria’s men’s and women’s basketball teams for this year’s Games in Tiokyo, Japan, Oladapo admitted it used to be the same for football, but reasoned that they will have to work harder in order to gwet the flare back.
The NOC scribe went on to charge the Olympic Eagles and Super Falcons to step up their efforts over the next three years, in order to ensure they pick tickets to the 2024 Olympics, as he believes Nigeria deserves the best from all its teams, including both football squads.
With that target in mind, Oladapo charged urged players and coaches in both football teams to rise next time, and stated delight that more federations continue to get qualification tickets to the upcoming Games in The Land of The Rising Sun.
While also cherishing the recent qualification of D’Tigrers and D’Tigress in basketball, Oladapo said it is good for Nigeria that more federations are qualifying for the Games and stressed that the absence of the country’s football teams does not becloud the nation’s sports image.
Olabajo said: “We are happy to see the basketball teams qualifying for both male and female categories of this year’s Olympic Games. It used to be the same for football, but now things have changed. That means the football teams have to redouble their efforts, and those teams that have qualified in other events should work hard to do well in Japan.
“Gradually we are getting there we are Nigerians, and Nigerian spirit is never die. We will still qualify many people. Because football did not qualify, it’s not the end of the world. Other sports have actually raised the bar and I wish all of them the best of luck.”