The Bayelsa State Sports Commissioner, Hon. Daniel igali has called on the Nigerian government to accord sports Icons an ambassadorial roles with diplomatic passports for good reasons.
Igali who addressed Journalists in Asaba, Delta State insisted that by so doing, sportsmen and women in Nigeria would begin to have respect to function in building the image of the country at home and abroad.
According to him, other countries have such portfolios for their sports men and women owing to their excellent performance in their sports endeavours.
Igali reiterated the need to have sports huge budget that would lift sports from the grassroots to higher performance level.
He said it takes huge amount of money to keep miscreants, street urchins and drug addicts behind bars, and queried why should government at all levels shy alway from having a reasonable budget for sports in Nigeria.
Other countries, he stressed, use sports to mitigate Youth unrest, social vices and illiteracy in the society.
"I want to humbly request that government should think of empowering Youth of Nigeria through sports with huge budgetery allocation."
The commissioner who won Canada's first gold medal in Wrestling as an athlete reiterated that, since his appointment in 2013 as sports boss in Bayelsa, it has been success and victories not only in wrestling but in other sports.
"I arrived Asaba with 456 contingent participating in 32 out of 35 events, this means that more Youths have been engaged and forced off the streets.
"I want the Nigerian Government through the Sports Ministry to fund sports properly and engage the patriotic and creative minds of the Youth to foster unity across the country."
Nigeria wrestling, he noted, is not in the decline but has rather improved over the years under his watch as Wrestling Federation President.
He recalled that gold medals which eluded the country in Wrestling since 1980, have stated coming since he took charge of the Federation.