President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday congratulated the nation’s Under-20 women’s football team, the Falconets, for winning silver at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the President said despite their loss to their German counterparts in the final of the tournament, he looked forward to honouring the players with a reception at the Presidential Villa on their return from Canada .
He said all Nigerians remained proud of the skilful, highly spirited and patriotic performance the players put up throughout the tournament.
The statement read, “On behalf of himself, the Federal Government and the people of Nigeria , President Goodluck Jonathan congratulates Nigeria ’s under-20 women’s football team, the Falconets for winning the silver medal at the just concluded FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada .
“President Jonathan assures the Falconets that despite their loss in extra time to their German counterparts in yesterday’s very keenly contested final, all Nigerians remain proud of the skillful, highly spirited and patriotic performance they put up throughout the tournament.
“The President applauds the Falconets who outplayed the Germans for long periods in the final, and also had greater ball possession and a higher number of goal attempts, for equalling Nigeria ’s best-ever finish in the tournament, and, in Asisat Oshoala, producing this year’s top scorer and Most Valuable Player.
“President Jonathan who stayed awake till 0300 hours (local time in Germany) to watch the match with his aides as he promised the girls during his chat with the team on Saturday, believes that the Falconets have shown the world that with their innate skills, strength, resilience and determination, they can remain a great force in women’s football globally for many years to come.
“The President assures the Falconets and their trainers that they will continue to receive all the support and encouragement they require from the Federal Government to fully actualise their world-beating potential.
“He looks forward to honouring the team with a reception at the Presidential Villa on their return from Canada .”
Meanwhile, Mrs. Jonathan in a statement by her media assistant, Ayo Adewuyi, said the girls had made Nigerian women proud by exhibiting an unprecedented patriotic zeal and a great determination resisting the German onslaught.