A reception worthy of heroes was accorded players and officials of the U-17 National Team, Golden Eaglets, as they returned to the country on Wednesday following a successful campaign at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.
The Coach Emmanuel Amuneke –led squad touched down at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja aboard Emirates Airline flight EK 785 from Dubai. The team had stayed the night in Dubai on Tuesday after flying from Santiago the previous day.
On hand to receive the victorious boys and their officials were DG, Sports of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mallam Alhassan Saleh Yakmut, NFF 1st Vice President, Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi, NFF 2nd Vice President, Mr. Shehu Dikko, directors of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, NFF Board members Otunba Sunday Dele-Ajayi, Alh. Ahmed Yusuf Fresh, Hon. Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande and Alh. Ahmad Kawu, and NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi.
“The entire nation is proud of you. You have done a great thing to bring honour to this country, and Mr. President is very delighted. I also wish to convey to you the joy of the new Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports,” said Mallam Yakmut.
A cultural troupe entertained just outside the arrival hall and made it possible for several airport officials, travelers and fans to take photographs with the players and officials, as Captain Kelechi Nwakali held the glittering trophy aloft all the way.
Thereafter, players and officials were driven round some areas of the Federal Capital Territory in a motorcade before the convoy arrived at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel.
The new Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalong, later had dinner with the players at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel.
The Golden Eaglets will be decamped on Thursday, to reconvene for a presidential reception at a later date.