Minister of Youth of Sports Development, Sunday Dare, will host the champions of the WAFU Zone B championship held in Niamey, and the scrabble team who swept the West African championship in Ghana.
Dare, who spoke to both teams after they emerged victorious in the respective tournaments, advised that they should ensure they sustain the feat in future events.
The U20 Nigeria team had in their surge for the WAFU Zone B competition defeated the defending champions Ghana 2-0 in their opening game, drew with Burkina Faso 1-1 before narrowly seeing off Cote d’Ivoire 2-1 in the semifinal.
However, the third champions of the WAFU Zone B competition never flinched on reaching the grand finale as they humbled Benin Republic in the final with a convincing 3-1 win.
According to the Sports Ministry’s statement, “the Minister spoke to both teams immediately after their resounding successes in Niamey and Accra, commending them for doing the nation proud.
“In Accra, Nigeria’s Eta Karo emerged as the Most Valuable Player(MVP) in the WAFU Zone B championship as the Nigerian team won the top nine places, emerging as the best country in the competition.
“The Minister had visited the Scrabble team on the eve of their departure to Ghana and urged them to be worthy ambassadors of the nation, a charge that has now been followed through.
“The President of the Nigeria Scrabble Federation(NSF) Olobatoke Aka thanked the Minister for his support and promised that his Federation will ensure Nigeria maintains its status as a global leader in the sport.
“In his chat with the Flying Eagles after their victory, the Minister expressed his delight with the team’s performance and in restoring the nation’s pride at age-grade competitions.
“He however charged them to stay committed to the greater goal, which is qualifying for the FIFA U20 World Cup in 2023.
“The Flying Eagles beat the defending African Champions Ghana 2-0, drew 2-2 with Burkina Faso, and edged Cote’d Ivoire 2-1 after extra time in the semi-finals before the convincing 3-1 win over the Benin Republic in the final,” the statement said.
Consequently, the two finalists, Nigeria U20 and Benin Republic U20, secured automatic qualification to Africa U20 Championship in Egypt next year.
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