NFF President Amaju Pinnick has extolled the nation’s Beach Soccer National Team, the Supersand Eagles, for a heartwarming display at the 9th FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in The Bahamas.
African vice champions Nigeria failed to reach the knock-out phase of the competition but won applause from the global audience after pushing group winners Iran to the limit, before losing on penalty shoot-out on Tuesday morning.
“You have shown us again that the ‘Nigerian Spirit’ which we all talk about now and again is well and truly alive, and is not mere talk. Personally, I wanted the team to have better pre-World Cup preparation but some factors conspired against that.
“Despite little preparation, you came very close to making the quarter-finals, through doggedness and infectious patriotic fervour. I commend your spirit, determination and endeavor,” the CAF Executive Committee member said while receiving the contingent on arrival at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos on Friday.
The Supersand Eagles were scheduled to take part in a Four-Nation Tournament in Senegal prior to the World Cup, but delays in receiving their US transit visas ran that plan into the sand.
Following elimination from the tournament on Tuesday, Nigeria’s delegation flew to Atlanta, United States of America before flying aboard Delta Airline to Lagos on Friday.