By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has received World Cup trophy from FIFA Governing Board ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
He also yesterday, at the Presidential Villa, received local eagles who participated in Championship of Afican Nations (CHAN) which took place in Morocco recently without announcing any cash reward for them.
Buhari also received Nigerian Diasporan representatives at the Winter Olympics which held in South Korea.
The presentation of the FIFA trophy to Buhari was in line with FIFA’s tradition to tour all the countries participating in the tournament with the trophy.
Christian Karembeu, FIFA’s representative, said bringing the trophy to Nigeria ahead of the tournament was meant to rekindle the passion of many young people in football and inspire the Super Eagles to believe in themselves that they can go far in the tournament and bring the trophy back to Nigeria.
In his presentation, representative of Coca Cola, a sponsor of the world football event, said 91 cities in over 20 countries are currently being toured by FIFA.
According to him, the the trophy would stay for four days in Abuja and Lagos because of the acknowledgement of Nigeria as not just a football loving nation but also a high ranking football nation in the world.
He also said the event was meant to put Nigeria on the global roadmap adding that it was part of Coca Cola’s commitment to the growth of football.
In his remarks, the President said he was aware that the global tour by FIFA which started on January 22 would cover the six continents of the world.
He thanked FIFA for involving two cities of Nigeria in the tour, stating that football is a symbol of unification in the country.
The president also commended the Eagles who represented Nigeria at the recently concluded Championship of Afican Nations (CHAN) in Morroco, saying he was proud of them.
He also commended two young ladies in Diaspora who represented Nigeria in Winter Olympic in South Korea. While thanking Coca Cola for investing in sport development in Nigeria, Buhari said it is Nigeria’s commitment to empower its youths through sports.
The Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, who introduced the CHAN Eagles and Winter Olympic participants, expressed hope that the trophy would be brought back to Nigeria in July.
The event was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, ministers and sport administrators.