Dalung Says VOA Interview Was Edited Out of Context

solomon-dalungNigeria’s Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, has cleared the air on his interview with the Voice of America, Hausa Service where he was reported to have said the Super Eagles do not need to attend the 2018 World Cup since they can’t win the trophy.

Mr Dalung said that the interview which he granted four months ago was misinterpreted, insisting  he has total confidence in the team to pick the sole tick in their group for Russia 2018.

He said that the interview was edited midway into a more comprehensive conversation and the act has sent a misconception about his commitment to the ongoing World Cup campaign.

“The statement was taken out of context. It was part of a comprehensive interview I granted four months ago when I was reacting to the status of African nations in global competitions and also football administration globally. Where do we stand?

“The question also was that whether Nigeria or any African country is likely going to host the World Cup. My reaction was what was captured.

“Unfortunately, the interview did not avail those who listened the complete narrative so that they can benefit from the background with which the response was taken,” he explained.

He maintained that the Nigerian government and the Ministry of Sport remain committed to ensuring that Nigeria re-positions itself as a global player in football and lead other African countries to the top of the game.

He urged Nigerians to support the Super Eagles to ensure that they do not lose the momentum that is in their favour in the 2018 World Cup qualifying series.

He added that his selfless contributions so far in Super Eagles’s quest for qualification, particularly ahead of the away win in Zambia, contradicts the impression that he was not in support of the team.

Dalung Says Siasia Has Not Resigned, Gernot Rohr’s Appointment Unofficial

Solomon Dalung, Samson Siasia, Gernot RohrThe Minister of Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung, says he has not been officially informed of the appointment of a new foreign coach for the Super Eagles by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The NFF had in early August, appointed a German, Gernot Rohr, to manage the Eagles, despite Mr Dalung’s preference for a local coach.

He claimed that Coach Samson Siasia, who led the Nigeria’s U-23 football team to win a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics, had not resigned, contrary to media reports, although his contract with the NFF had lapsed.

Siasia had told reporters that he had on August 27 resigned as the coach of Nigeria’s U-23 football team because of what he describes as “a disrespectful system”.

Mr Dalung’s frowned at the treatment meted to Siasia by the NFF, alleging that they withdrew his official car in Abuja while he was battling to secure a medal for Nigeria in Rio.

While hinting that he had met with Siasia on Monday, he said Nigeria needed him ‎in football development.

Samson Siasia
Coach Samson Siasia

The Sports Minister further pointed out that even if the NFF would not re-engage him, the Federation should at least, give him some peace of mind to enable him make his contributions in a personal capacity.

He noted that it would be sad to have such coach leave Nigeria for another country out of frustration, just like many athletes did as witnessed during the Rio Olympics.

Abysmal Outing Of Team Nigeria

Dalung also cleared the air on the $390,000 donation to Siasia and his team by a Japanese surgeon, saying that after he met the donor in Rio, he was convinced there were no strings like match-fixing attached to the donation.

He attributed the abysmal outing of the Nigerian Olympic contingent to late release of funds and inability to develop home-grown talents.

The Minister emphasised the need for the National Sports Commission which he said was unfortunately scrapped by a government committee that recommended merger of ministries.‎

He was at the State House on Tuesday in Abuja to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on Nigeria’s outing at the ‎just concluded Olympics in Rio, Brazil.

Since Team Nigeria were able to win bronze medal in football, Mr Dalung urged the President to host the team.

Dream Team Win First Medal For Nigeria In Rio

Nigeria-dream-Team-in-Rio-OlympicsThe Dream Team VI on Saturday won Nigeria’s only medal at the Rio Olympics.

The football team, led by John Mikel, defeated hard-fighting Honduras 3 – 2 to clinch the bronze medal at the Olympic Games.

Sadiq Umar scored a brace with Aminu Umar also getting on the score sheet before the Central Americans fought back to take the game to 3-2.

They were earlier denied a place in the finals when they lost 2 – 0 to Germany while Brazil also beat Honduras 6 – 0.

The African Champions have so far, won three medals in their Olympics history.

They won gold in Atlanta 1996, Silver in Beijing 2008 and now have a bronze medal in Rio 2016.

Olympic Soccer: Germany Thwart Nigeria’s Hope For Gold

Nigeria-U-23-Olympic-Germany-Dream TeamDream Team VI have failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics finals as they lost 2 – 0 to Germany on Wednesday night.

The Germans got the winning edge over the Nigerians with an early goal from Lukas Klostermann.

Efforts by Coach Samson Siasia’s boys to level the score were unsuccessful as the first half ended 1 – 0.

The Nigerians seemed more prepared to fight for the finals ticket in the second half as they came out stronger than they were earlier.

However, Germany’s Nils Petersen truncated the hope of the Dream Team with his 89th minute goal.

The Germans would contend for the championship title with host country, Brazil who beat Honduras 6 – 0.

Rio Olympics: Dalung Drums More Support For Team Nigeria

Team Nigeria, Solomon Dalung, Rio OlympicsThe Minister for Youth and Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung, has called on Nigerians to keep supporting their team at the Olympics.

With hopes of winning a medal looking bleak, Mr Dalung said Nigerian athletes have not done badly at the games.

The Minister drummed support for Team Nigeria during an interview with Channels Television in Rio.

He said that the event has brought lessons that would be useful in the development of sports in Nigeria.

The appeal comes as the Dream Team VI prepare for the semi-final clash against Germany, to contend for a place in the finals of the football competition at the Olympic Games.

The U-23 team finished first in Group B despite their 2 – 0 loss to Colombia, but beat Japan and Sweden 5 – 4; 1 – 0 respectively.

They proceeded to the semi final of the competition after defeating Denmark 2 – 0 in the quarter final.

The Semi-Final match is expected to take place by 8PM Nigerian time.

The Nigerian team, led by John Mikel, are playing with high-spirits with the hope of replicating the Atlanta ’96 feat, led by the legendary Nwankwo Kanu.

Rio Olympic Gold Not Impossible – Amoo

u23Nigeria’s Dream Team VI assistant coach, Fatai Amoo, has said it is not impossible for the side to recapture the 96’ Atlanta performance at the upcoming 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Nigerians emerged winners and earned an instant ticket to the Olympics together with runners-up, Algeria and South Africa at the just concluded 2015 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations in Senegal.

However, Amoo said for the present squad to inch closer to the golden performance of 96’Atlanta the Dream Team VI must be overhauled 100% in its entirety.

“Impossible is nothing, it’s quite possible the present squad go ahead to win gold at the upcoming 2016 Olympics in Rio as the 96’ Atlanta set performed in the years back but not under the present scenario that preceded the side campaign at the just concluded Africa U-23 Cup of Nations in Senegal.

“The motivation for this current squad and coaching crew is low compared with the 1996 Olympic team.

“Of course, we must overhaul the team by getting the best players all over the world not overlooking some shining stars in the present squad.

“Things must changed completely in addition to total overhaul of the team as we will be meeting the world best in Rio for us to hope for a repeat performance of 96’ Atlanta golden era,” said the former Nigerian assistant coach to supersport.com.

Amoo said his side surpassed their mandate at the just concluded 2015 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations in Senegal.

“The first objective handed to us by the football house is the Olympic ticket we achieved the target by qualifying for Rio Olympics and we went ahead to win the championship trophy to keep something in the archives and a record for ourselves and Nigerians.

“We are fulfilled as far as Africa U-23 Cup of Nations is concerned the next is the Olympics,” said the former Sunshine Stars coach.

The team arrived the country early on Monday while the contingent was dispersed to their respective homes at various locations.

Siasia Lauds Goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel For Olympics Qualification

Siasia Lauds Goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel For Olympics QualificationNational U-23 coach, Samson Siasia, has commended goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel, for ensuring the Dream Team VI qualify for next year’s Olympic games in Brazil.

Daniel saved a penalty in the first half and pulled up several other great saves to deny the Senegalese in front of their fans.

Oghenekaro Etebo got the only goal from a spot kick to hand Nigeria a ticket to the football event of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Siasia said he was delighted seeing his side qualify for the final of the 2015 CAF Africa Cup Of Nations after a hard fought 1-0 win over hosts Senegal.

The Under-23 team will battle Algeria for the crown in the final of the championship game.

The Algerians have also qualified for the Olympics after beating South Africa 2-0.

The final will be played 8pm Nigerian time on Saturday at the Leopold Sedar Senghor in Dakar, Senegal’s capital.

Nigeria Beat Senegal To Secure Rio Olympics Ticket

Nigeria Beat Senegal To Secure Rio Olympics TicketNigeria U-23 team, Dream Team VI, have qualified for the men’s football event at next year’s Olympic games in Brazil.

Nigeria picked one of the tickets for African teams after the Dream Team VI beat hosts Senegal by a lone goal to advance to the final of the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Senegalese did most of the playing in the first half and they were awarded a penalty that was clearly saved by Goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel.

Nigeria created clear cut chances in the second half and the pressure on the Senegalese paid off in the 72nd minute when the Dream Team were awarded a penalty by centre referee, Redouane Jiyed.

Midfielder Etebo Oghenekaro made no mistake from the spot and converted to book a place in the final for the Nigerians in Saturday’s final billed to take place in Dakar.

Siasia Cautions Dream Team VI Against Defensive Errors

Siasia Cautions Dream Team VI On Defensive ErrorsNational Under-23 team coach, Samson Siasia, has cautioned the Dream Team VI to avoid further defensive errors at the ongoing CAF Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Dream Team VI on Wednesday in Senegal, let a two-goal advantage slip when they were forced to a 2-2 draw by the Young Pharaohs of Egypt at the Caroline Faye Stadium in M’bour.

Reacting to the team’s performance, Coach Siasia said that there should be no room for defensive errors if they must qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games.

He said that the players tend to lose concentration in the second half of their games, stressing that this must be corrected in their last group game on Saturday.

Siasia admitted that it would be a tough battle against Algeria, adding that Nigeria has no option than to advance from the group stage.

Two quick penalty goals from Warri Wolves Forward, Oghenekaro Etebor, had given Siasia’s boys a comfortable two goal lead in the first half before the team’s defensive problems resurfaced.

The Egyptians came out smoking in the second half, pulling one goal back while Goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel helped the ball into his own net for the Young Pharaohs to level score.

Nigeria’s next game is on Saturday against group leaders Algeria, who beat Mali 2-0 earlier before the Egypt clash.

Nigeria’s Under-23 Team Prepare For Mali Clash

Under-23National Under-23 team coach, Samson Siasia, says his team is ready for the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) which could secure the team’s ticket for the 2016 Olympic Games.

The Dream Team VI will face Mali on Sunday at the Caroline Faye Stadium, Mbour, in what could determine the winners of Group B.

Siasia is wary of the Malians, as the country has been on a high internationally in 2015, after they finished third at the FIFA U-20 World Cup and were beaten finalists in the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Nigeria are featuring in the Under-23 AFCON for the second time, after they failed to make it to the London 2012 Olympics, while Mali will be appearing at the competition for the first time.

The Dream Team departed Gambia for Senegal on Wednesday to prepare ahead of the clash.

Dream Team VI Set To Depart Gambia For Senegal

Under-23-dream team

Nigeria’s U-23 national team, Dream Team VI, will on Wednesday depart from Gambia, where they have been camping for the past 10 days, for the CAF U-23 Africa Cup of Nations taking place in Senegal.

The delegation is made up of 23 players and 10 accompanying officials.

The team, on arrival in Dakar, will proceed to Mbour, venue of its first two Group B games.

The Dream Team VI will begin their quest to qualify for the Rio Olympics when they take on West African rivals, Mali, on Sunday, November 29, at the Caroline Faye Stadium, in Mbour.


Nigeria Through To Semi-finals Of All Africa Games

Under-23Nigeria’s U-23 team has booked a place in the Semi-finals of the male football event of All Africa Games, after defeating Ghana with a 2-0 margin.

Two second half goals from Junior Ajayi and Kingsley Sokari gave the Nigerian side the victory.

The Wednesday game showed the football rivalry that has existed between Nigeria and Ghana.

Before the game began, Coach Samson Siasia had warned the Dream Team VI that they would need to take their chances if they would come out victorious against the defending champions.

The first goal of the tie came on the 55th minute when Junior Ajayi carefully tapped in a cross from the right flank, giving Nigeria the lead.

Ghana pressed hard for an equaliser, but they were caught flat footed when a defence splitting pass was given to Kingsley Sokari and the Enyimba star with what the commentator described as a fantastic shot buried the ball into the net to double the lead.