24 Mar 2015
Nigeria can win 2018 FIFA World Cup, says Elegbeleye.
Abuja – Gbenga Elegbeleye, Director-General,
National Sports Commission (NSC), said on
Tuesday expressed optimistic that Nigeria could
win the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be hosted by
Elegbeleye said this at a reception organised in
honour of the victorious Flying Eagles by NSC.
current Flying Eagles could win the World Cup
when they graduate to Super Eagles in the near
The Flying Eagles won all their matches at the
just-concluded Africa Youth Championship (AYC).
The team defeated host Senegal in the final to lift
the cup for the seventh time.
“About 11, 12 years ago in my house in Akure, I
remember Coach Manu Garba, telling me that
Nigeria can win the World Cup in 15 years.
“I am still holding to that statement. He said in
15 years Nigeria can develop a team that can win
the World Cup.
“So, when he won the Under-17 World Cup, I
laughed. Now your team has won the under-20
African Championship and preparing to go for the
Under-20 World Cup.
“Twelve years ago should be 2018. So, I can see
these young stars as probably the team that will
win World Cup for Africa”, he said.
Amaju Pinnick, Chairman, Nigeria Football
Association (NFA) said the team would receive all
the support it needed to win the World Cup.
Pinnick who was represented by Mrs Dilichukwu
Onyedimma, an NFA board member commended
the NSC and President Goodluck Jonathan for
supporting the football house in its endeavours.
He said the support was partly responsible for the
successes achieved in football in the country.
He said that the success would continue until the
Flying Eagles lifted the under-20 World Cup to be
hosted by New Zealand.
Taiwo Awoniyi, who spoke on behalf of the team,
commended the NFA, NSC and Jonathan for their
support for the team.
“Our plan was to qualify and win the nations cup
which we just did. Our coaches are the secret of
“Without them there won’t be us and without us
there won’t be them,’’ Awoniyi said.
Manu Garba, the coach of the team urged the
Federal Government to help the team to actualise
its aim of winning the Under-20 World Cup by
supporting it the more.
He called for the setting up of a ‘refreshing’ camp
for the team in preparation for the World Cup.
Garba expressed the hope that the bulk of the
Flying Eagles players would form the integral part
of the future Super Eagles.
Godfrey Gaiya, the Chairman, House of
Representatives Committee on Sports, told the
players that the National Assembly would host
“You remember the last time the Super Eagles
came back from South Africa with the Nations
Cup; the House of Representatives deemed it fit
to welcome them to the gallery of the National
“That was the first time such a thing actually
happened in the history of legislation in this
country. I can assure you that your have equally
done us proud.
“It will not be out of place with the permission of
the NSC D-G and leadership of NFA, to give you a
date,’’ Gaiya said.