The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development on Tuesday named former Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo, an ambassador of the National Principals’ Cup.×
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, made the announcement when Ighalo paid him a courtesy visit at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
The minister said the visit to the stadium was deliberate and symbolic to showcase the ongoing rehabilitation work at the stadium.
“It gladdens our heart in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development where we have the mandate for sports development when we see our great players excel in all parts of the world.
“You have served this country faithfully and you will continue to be a good Ambassador of this country,” he said.
Dare explained that Ighalo was chosen as an ambassador of the competition to inspire young Nigerians in schools to take to sports.
“It is of note that the Principals’ Cup, which had been abandoned for 25 years was revived recently.
“The 2021 edition was just concluded in April with about 250 schools participating,” said the minister.
He explained that the Principals’ Cup used to be the engine room that supplied most of the country’s best players.
“To give it life, we came up with flagship ambassadors of the Principal’s Cup with Daniel Amokachi, Joseph Dosu, Mary Onyali, Tajudeen Disu picked as Ambassadors.
“You have also been appointed as National Principal’s Cup Ambassador to motivate our young students,” Dare said.
The former Manchester United striker, who also has a football academy in Lagos, said sports if well managed could be used to transform the lives of Nigerian youths.
“For the first time, we’ve seen sports moving forward as a business in Nigeria with your push and initiatives. Thank you so much for what you are doing for sports development,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister subsequently led Ighalo to inspect the ongoing pitch renovation of the Moshood Abiola National stadium.
Ighalo commended the ongoing work at the stadium and called for better facilities across the country for Nigerians and the national teams to train and play.
“This is the main bowl, this is where Nigeria is supposed to be playing our national team games, so, we are happy it’s coming back to life so we can’t wait to see how it’s going to look like after the finishing,” he added.