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.

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.

Slim Advantage: Nigeria’s Under-23 Beat Congo 2-1 In Olympics Qualifier

Under-23Nigeria’s Under-23 national team have beaten their Congolese counterparts 2-1 in an African Under-23 Championship final round, first leg qualifying match played in Port Harcourt on Sunday.

Junior Ajayi scored both goals early in the second half – the first a tap-in after Goalkeeper Christopher could not get a good grip of the ball off a pull-out in the 48th minute.

The second goal was a well orchestrated team goal that Ajayi finished with a brilliant header from a Daniel Etor cross six minutes later.

After the 2-goal lead, Samson Siasia’s boys were adjudged to have relaxed and allowed the Congolese back into the game.

The Devils created chances and from one of such, Nkoukou Miose slammed in off a rebound from goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel in the 66th minute.

Coach Siasia had, during a telephone interview on Channels Television’s Sports Tonight, hoped for victory with a large margin against the boys from Congo but they now take a slim advantage into the second leg in Congo.

Siasia’s boys won their two away matches in the qualifying race for the All-Africa Games – for which they have qualified.

They pounded Gabon 4-1 in Libreville and defeated Zambia 2-0 in Lusaka and it is expected that they would remain confident going to Pointe Noire on August 2.

NFF Eyes Siasia For Olympic Team Job

There are indications that the Nigeria Football Federation could be keen on seeing former Super Eagles coach; Samson Siasia takes charge of the country’s Olympic team.

Siasia was replaced in October 2011 as the senior national team coach by Stephen Keshi after failing to steer Nigeria to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

There are reports that the NFF have been in contact with Siasia over the decision, though there has been no response from him.

Siasia led Nigeria to the final of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing; China, where Nigeria were defeated by Argentina by a lone goal scored by Angel Di Maria.