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Nigeria president dreams of World Cup final

Excited because of the Africa Cup of Nations trophy, Nigeria president Goodluck Jonathan sets a really hard target for the Super Eagles

Ahram Online, Thursday 14 Feb 2013
Nigeria's national soccer team players, including John Obi Mikel, left, celebrate with the African Cup of Nations trophy after defeating Burkina Faso 1-0 in the tournament final, at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 (Photo: AP
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Nigeria president Goodluck Jonathan expressed hope for his football team not only to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil but also to appear in the final.

"I know that it is challenging to manage a team. We will continue to praise and encourage the boys and charge them to ensure they qualify for the World Cup and get to the final,” Jonathan said Wednesday during formal presentation of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations trophy to members of the Federal Executive Council.

"I want to thank the Minister of Sports and the of course, the NFF which has always been associated with a lot of stories for this feat. If you had lost, you would have been humiliated.

The President also announced a donation of N5Million naira to the supporters club for their dogged support of the national team.

"Government will give the club N5m to encourage them. It is not easy supporting a team, be singing and dancing even when it seems the team is not winning. We need to encourage them" the president said.

It is the third African Cup of Nations title for the Super Eagles, who hoisted the trophy in 1980 and 1994 and dominated African football for much of the '90s.

However, Africa's most populous nation has since struggled in big football tournaments, and has not won a World Cup match since 1998. It had two losses and a draw in 2002 and didn't qualify for the 2006 tournament. After the 2010 World Cup, also in South Africa, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said he would pull all national teams out of competition because of the poor showing.

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