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.

Nigeria Declares State Of Emergency On Sports

Solomon Dalung, Nigeria, SportsAs part of efforts to arrest the dwindling fortunes in Nigeria’s sports sector, the Federal Government has declared a state of emergency on sports.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung, made the declaration in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

The announcement was made on Thursday shortly after the Minister received the report on the Olympic Games presented by the Sports Reform Committee.

Mr Dalung said Nigeria’s dismal performance at the Rio Olympics necessitated the declaration of a state of emergency on sports.

The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Godwin Kienka, advised the government to implement the recommendations of the committee.

He added that Nigeria never prepared for success at the Olympic Games.

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.

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.

Olympics: Funke Oshonaike is Team Nigeria’s Flag Bearer

Funke Oshonaike, Team Nigeria, OlympicsExperienced and elegant Table Tennis star, Olufunke Oshonaike, will lead out Team Nigeria at the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics, at the Maracana Stadium on Friday, August 5.

The graceful and stylish ping ponger, who is competing in her sixth Olympics, is also the assistant Team Captain to Mikel Obi who at the weekend was also named captain of the football team, thereby making him a double captain to the Games.

Funke Oshonaike, no doubt, would treasure to be the flag bearer as marching with her fellow athletes in an opening ceremony is considered by many athletes as the pinnacle of their Olympic journey.

Table Tennis is indeed honoured with yet another player, Segun Toriola whose incredible willpower and perseverance sees him as the Nigerian with seven appearances at the Olympics.

The opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics would also see an athlete take the Olympic Oath during the Opening Ceremony, “In the name of all the competitors”.

Mayor of Rio To Welcome Team Nigeria To Games Village

Rio Olympics, Russia, IOC, Team NigeriaThe Mayor of Rio De Janeiro, Eduardo da Costa Paes accompanied by other officials will welcome Team Nigeria to the Games Village of the Summer Rio Olympics on Wednesday, August 3, by 10a.m (Brazilian time).

Each team from the 206 countries is welcomed to the Village in a special ceremony led by the Village Chieftains as well as athletes and officials of the countries.

Team Welcome Ceremonies are a key occasion for athletes, team officials and their guests. It acknowledges their journey to the Games and marks the start of their residency in the Village.

The brief but impressive ceremony will celebrate the Nigerian heritage and culture. The Green, White, Green flag would be raised and the national anthem played.

President of Nigeria Olympic Committee, Habu Gumel who is also a member of International Olympic Committee (IOC), and other Nigerian officials will be present at the event.

Brazilian officials have promised to make sure that the largest athletes’ Village in history provides a comfortable, welcoming and inspiring place for all the competitors.

In the Village, Technogym has installed a state-of-the-art gym for Team Nigeria that will occupy four floors in block 11.

Nigeria Will Succeed At Rio Olympics, FG Assures

Rio OlympicsThe Federal Government has assured Nigerians that the nation’s Olympic team will put up a sterling performance at the Rio 2016 Olympics holding in Brazil.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the Minister of Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung, said that although the country is experiencing some challenges at the moment, the government is satisfied with the level of preparation of the Nigeria Olympic team‎.

He announced that over 95 athletes have qualified for the Olympics and urged Nigerians to support the Nigeria Olympic ‎Committee in its efforts to develop sports in Nigeria.

FG Protests Denial Of Visa To U-17 Female Basketball Team

Basketball Team, U-17 Basketball The federal government has registered its displeasure over the denial of visa to members of the nation’s under-17 female basketball team by Spain.

The Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr Solomon Dalung, expressed his displeasure while speaking with state house correspondents on Tuesday.

The minister recalled that the female basketball players had qualified in Madagascar for the Spain event but after fulfilling all visa requirements, they were denied visa.

He said that he had, earlier before coming to the Presidential Villa, visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to officially protest the treatment given to Nigeria.

He promised to carry out further investigation because the reasons given by the embassy of Spain were not genuine.

The 2016 FIBA U-17 World Championship dunked off on June 21 in Spain with Nigeria drawn in Group A with Canada, Latvia and Japan.

The Coach Adeka Daudu-led U-17 girls had qualified from the African Championship held in Madagascar in 2015.

On Nigeria’s level of preparations towards the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the Minister of Sports said that Nigeria will surpass the abysmal performance it recorded in 2012.

According to him, Nigeria will feature in only eight events in the Olympic Games in Rio.

The Minister was in the Presidential Villa to get the attention of the President so that the ministry can have enough funding to prosecute the Games.


Channels National Kids Cup Final Holds In Lagos

Kids CupAll roads lead to Teslim Balogun Stadium today for the finals of Season 8 of the Channels National Kids Cup.

St. James Government School, Osun and Arinze Primary School from Edo State will battle in the third place match.

The final match is between LGA Mohammed Primary School, Kaduna and Que Iboe Primary School from Kogi State.


Four Teams Progress To Channels Kids Cup Semi-Finals

Channels National Kids Cup, Channels Kids CupFour schools have progressed to the semi-finals in the season eight of the Channels National Kids Cup.

In the day’s first quarter-final match, St James Primary School from Osun State beat Lagos representatives, National Primary School Yaba 5-0.

Also through to the last four was Qua-Iboe Primary School from Kogi State which thrashed Jankawa primary school from Nasarawa 5-3 in an entertaining encounter at the Teslim Balogun stadium in Lagos.

LGA Mohammed Kibir from Kaduna and Arinze from Edo also booked their place in the next round after beating Nana primary school and Focal point 1-0 and 2-1 respectively.

The semi-final pairings would see St James take on LGA Mohammed while Qua-Iboe would tackle Arinze.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Sports Reform Committee, Godwin Kienka, has hailed the initiative behind the Channels National Kids Cup.

Another member of the committee, Mary Onyali, said the competition was a model for grassroots development that different sports federations should emulate.

The Sports Reform Committee was set up by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung, to restructure sports for effective development.

House To Summon Sports Minister Over NFF Crisis

2016 budget-HouseThe House of Representatives has mandated the House Committee on Sports to invite the Minister of Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung and other stakeholders in a bid to resolve the lingering crisis in the Nigerian Football Federation.

In a motion sponsored by Rep. Prestige Ossy, the House observed that the crisis may affect Nigeria’s chances of qualifying for the next FIFA World Cup if it is not resolved.

The Committee is to report back to the House in two weeks.

Dalung Tasks Sports Federations On Sponsorship

Sports, Solomon Dalung, Sports federationsSports federations still waiting for funding from the Federal Government have been asked to attract sponsorship from the private sector.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung, made the call on Monday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He advised the federations to look inwards by creating programmes and events that would draw sponsorship from the private sector.

Mr Dalung stressed that they needed to emulate the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) by generating funds to run their programmes.

He commended the NTTF for organising various championship which he said helped to discover young talents.