Redeem promise to Flying Eagles 1983 World Cup squad ― Reps to Nigerian govt
*34 Years After, Reps Demand Compensation For Mexico 83 Flying Eagles
More than three decades after members of the Flying Eagles national team qualified Nigeria for her first ever FIFA organised tournament in Mexico in 1983, the House of Representatives on Wednesday called on the Federal Government to redeem its promise of rewarding the team based on the feat.
The resolution followed the consideration and adoption of a motion by Rep. Abbas Tajudeen (APC, Kaduna) wherein he reminded colleagues at plenary that the federal government after 30 years had failed to fulfill it’s promises to the team, many of whose members are no more.
Presenting the motion, Tajudeen recalled that “in1983 the Flying Eagles team was the first Nigerian national football team to qualify for any Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) organized football tournament”.
“The team emerged as African Champions in the Under-20 World Cup qualifying series in the African zone to represent Africa in the FIFA organized toruney, the Under-20 World Cup in Mexico 1983”, he noted.
The lawmaker stressed that the “Successive Federal Administrations have paid only lip service to rewarding the team or fulfilling the promise to award scholarship to every player in the team”, adding that “the National Lottery Commission which was established to fund the nation’s sportsmen and women has not lived up to expectations either”.
Reminding the House that the then federal government of former President Shehu Shagari had promised to award members of the team scholarships in the academic institution of their choice without fulfilling it, Tajudeen therefore called the House to intervene in the matter and called on President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to do the needful.
Lawmakers argued that, it’s even morally more incumbent on the present administration, particularly the president who overthrew president Shehu Shagari’s government thereby preventing him from redeeming his promise to the team in 1983.
In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yusuf Lasun who presided over the session adhered to the prayers of the motion which is “urging the federal government to, as an alternative, reward any player who is late or not interested in academic pursuits by monetizing the award, giving them national honours or honoring them as it deems fit in concrete terms”.
The House also mandated its Committee on Sports to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports to ensure compliance and report back within 6 weeks for further legislative action.