Sports minister Solomon Dalung has appealed to the National Assembly to appropriate sufficient funds for sports in the 2018 budget.
Dalung said the ministry needed sufficient funds to enable the country to make a meaningful impact at the Commonwealth Games, the World Cup and the FIBA World Cup for Women in Spain – all scheduled for next year.
He said, “We all know that Super Eagles’ qualification for the 2018 Russia World Cup was as a result of the direct support from President Muhammadu Buhari who had to personally intervene at critical times.”
He said running to the president for financial intervention for sports might be difficult to sustain, considering the international sporting events lined up for 2018.
“In fact, let’s not be deceived. There was no budgetary allocation for the Eagles’ preparations for the World Cup in the 2017 budget.”
He urged the house committee on sports to key into the vision of the ministry of seeing a well-prepared Eagles take on the world as a major player in Africa and world football.
Dalung said, “We are not going as mere participants but as contenders with a new vision, culture and tradition of modern soccer and a determination to make an impact at the World Cup.”