The Federal Government has applauded the Nigeria’s Men’s Deaf Football Team, also known as the “Deaf Eagles” for representing the country at the just concluded 4th Edition of the World Deaf Football Championships held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, describing their participation as a clear demonstration of patriotism.
The Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, gave the commendation on Monday in his office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja when he received the athletes shortly after their return into the country from the tournament, which held from September 23rd to October 7, 2023.
He stated that the Team deserves commendation from all Nigerians, not only for hoisting the Nigerian flag for the first time in four editions of the Tournament but also for clinching the 11th position in the world ranking for the game, even though it was its debut participation after three previous editions.
Enoh who explained that there is no greater demonstration of social inclusiveness in the sector than having the Deaf team travelling to represent the country in an international event of such magnitude, hailed the Team for its hardwork and patriotism that has brought pride to the nation.
He described sports as the greatest tool for social inclusion as it has the ability to engender diversity, equity and inclusiveness in the society.
“There is no greater demonstration of the social inclusiveness of sports than having a deaf team travel to represent Nigeria. It is in sports that you find that there is no discrimination whatsoever. As a nation we applaud you and I want you to know that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Federal Executive Council, the Ministry as well as all sports loving Nigerians are proud of all our athletes and as such, solidly behind them. We associate with all of you, especially those who have represented the country at international competitions”, he said.
While restating government’s commitment to the creation of an enabling environment for the development of sports in the country, the Minister stated that he will work with relevant departments of the Ministry to ensure deaf sports gets an assured place in both National Sports Festival as well as the National Youth Games.
Speaking earlier, the President, Deaf Sports Federation, Alhaji Suleiman Dagbo commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his wisdom in creating the Ministry of Sports Development and assigned Senator Owan Enoh, a colossus administrator to drive its affairs.
He informed that the country was represented by only 13 players but put in their best to come out eleventh in the world, noting however that the walk-over they suffered due to the Team’s late arrival at the Game was one of their major setbacks at the Competition.
Alhaji Sulaiman who thanked the Honourable Minister Senator John Owan Enoh for being the first to receive them as well as the Permanent Secretary and Top Management Staff of the Ministry assured that the Team is sure to record podium performances in future competitions if granted another opportunity.