The coach and other members of the team also received donations from President Goodluck Jonathan.
President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday announced N2million cash gifts for each player of the triumphant Golden Eaglets Under 17 team, who defeated Mexico on Friday to win the world cup a record fourth time.
The president also announced N3million for the Head Coach and N2.5million for the assistant coaches. The team’s physiotherapist, received N500 thousand, its secretary received N500,000, while the team technical officer, team coordinator, curator and medical officers will all get 300 thousand.
He also announced that the team, the handlers, the coaches and the officials including some key members of the supporters club and the Nigerian Football Federation will all be given national honours.
Shortly before announcing the cash rewards which he said was just a token, Mr Jonathan urged state governors and businessmen women to support the team and host them their own way.
In his speech, Mr Jonathan said he was pleased to host and honour the players who he noted that by their outstanding performance and victory had brought pride not only to the nation but to the country.
The president, who recalled that he was hosting the team for the second time- the first being when they won the second place in the African Under 17 football Championship- said he had charged them to go ahead and conquer the world.
He also recalled that after the poor performance at the 2012 Olympics he had called for reforms in the respective sporting areas. This he noted had brought about the successes being recorded in the sports sector adding that it did not come as a surprise.
He said this was a golden era in the sports sector and the victory was not just for Nigeria but for the whole Africa.
“You won squarely and convincingly and we are very proud of you” he said.
“To the crew who have nurtured this team to greatness, I thank you for a job well done. If we can conquer the world at age Under 17 there is no reason we cannot win at the senior level. They cannot afford to relax on today’s laurels but you must continue to train, guide and care for them. This is a world class team and they must remain world champions from category to Category and from one tournament to the other,” he said.
The Chairman National Sports Commission, Gbenga Elegbeleye, in his remarks said they were told to go and conquer the world and that second position was not an option. He added that he was glad that they were in the villa to present the trophy to the President.
Minister of Sports Bolaji Abdulahi, said following the team’s victory, President Jonathan is now the most successful president in the sports sector.
He also said the success of the team was not an isolation, but is attributed to the Mr Jonathan’s administration’s transformation agenda.
The minister also noted that the players were selected strictly on merit and the idea was to build a solid football team. The coaches have not only succeeded in building a good team but also patriotic Nigerians.
Mr Abdulahi added that winning the world cup was not the end but the beginning for the under 17 which he said was not just a team but a project.
The Mexican Ambassador to Nigeria, Marco Antonio, presented the Nigerian and Mexican jerseys to the president.
Vice president Namadi Sambo, senate president David Mark and his wife, speaker of the House of Representatives, Governors of Cross River, Bauchi and Akwa Ibom; deputy governors of Imo, Plateau, Kogi, Niger, Kano; PDP Chairman, Deputy Speaker House of Representatives, attended the event.
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