The Youth and Sports Minister yesterday hosted the Junior Yellow Greens of Nigeria for qualifying for next year’s ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup.
At a modest reception organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the National U- 19 Cricket team, Dalung praised the team and leadership of the Nigeria Cricket Federation for making another historic record.
“The success of the national U-19 Cricket team coming at this transition period of this administration is one of the greatest packages I have received as a minister in this Ministry.
“The face of sports has changed within three and half years, despite those who have inundated the social media, trying to contradict the narrative that sports in Nigeria has taken its proper place globally. This is another historic feat in 100 years.
“After the D’Tigress made history by being the first African team to qualify for the World Cup quarterfinals in 100 years, the Junior Yellow Greens had beaten another 100 year-record by qualifying for the ICC U-19 World Cup since 1904. Nothing would have brought this kind of revolution in sports apart from the democratisation of the national sports federations.”
Dalung recalled that in three and half years, Nigerian athletes had won over 700 medals. He, however, stated that funding had been the bane of sports in the country.
“The Ministry has not enjoyed good funding. I know what the team went through, but this glory comes to Nigeria. We must invest more funds in sports to create hope for our young people. Government must take sports more seriously and the National Assembly must budget money for sports because budgeting money for sports is budgeting money for youth development.”