Sports minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung has charged the technical department of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to support Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr with additional ideas that could help the team gain victory against Iceland on Friday.
Dalung stated during a visit to the Eagles’ camp at Essentuki, Russia that the players and coaches need more support from all angles now, more than ever, hence his decision to promise them an additional $5,000 to their winning bonuses, but added that the NFF egg heads also have a role to play in backing the crew.
Dalung hopes his gesture will motivate the Eagles to win their second match at Russia 2018 against Iceland in Volgograd.
Based on Dalung’s disclosure, the Eagles will get a total bonus of $15,000 (approximately N5.4m) if they beat Iceland on Friday.
Victory has become imperative for the Eagles, after Iceland drew their first match against Argentina and aim to beat the Nigerian side to go top of Group D.
Dalung said he hopes that adding to the team’s winning bonus of initial $10,000 will go a long way to further motivate the players for victory on Friday, but said they also need support from all Nigerians.
The minister said: “It is unfortunate that we did not win, which would have served as a morale booster at the group stage, but we will not lose hope. The Federal Government is doing its best to ensure that the Super Eagles excel in Russia.
“Even President Muhammadu Buhari took time out to motivate the players yesterday and to assure them of his unflinching support for the team.
“I personally added $5,000 to their winning bonus to motivate the team, but we must still keep our hopes alive because this is just the beginning.
“I urge the players to remain focused while the technical department will have to put heads together with the coach to salvage our next two matches against Iceland and Argentina.
“If we win our next matches against Iceland and Argentina, then we can qualify from the group.
“The Super Eagles are a work in progress. It’s a very young team and we are nurturing them for greater exploits, not only for now but also for the future.
“We are not giving any excuses but we must continue to rally round our team, irrespective of the result recorded on Saturday.
“I appeal to Nigerians to rally behind the team and pray for them ahead of their next game against Iceland.
“I strongly believe that despite the disappointing start, the Super Eagles will come out strong from the group.”