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.

Dalung Congratulates U-23 Team, Orders Outstanding Bonuses’ Payment

Solomon-DalungNigeria’s  Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung, has congratulated the national U-23 team for qualifying for next year’s Olympic Games.

Dalung has also ordered the immediate payment of all outstanding match bonuses and allowances owed the players and officials.

The Minister expressed displeasure that the players were being owed a backlog of allowances and bonuses since their last competition.

“This is an emergency problem we inherited and I have directed the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry and the Director General of the National Sports Commission to source for intervention funds to settle the players before the final game on Saturday.

“The players have done extremely well under the situation, moreover a workman deserves his pay.

“We don’t want negative stories on non-payment of players’ allowances which are capable of tarnishing the image of the country, so I have pleaded with the coaches and players to remain focused on their final game as all possible efforts are being put in by the Ministry to ensure that all outstanding bonuses and camp allowances are offset before Saturday,” the minister said.

Mr Dalung watched the Dream team defeat host, Senegal, in the semi-final match by a single goal scored through a penalty.

He congratulated the team after the match and urged them to work hard to win the final game against Algeria.

He has also directed that a delegation comprising top officials of the Ministry of Youth and Sports visit the U-23 team in Senegal before the final.

Siasia Considering Osimhen For Olympic Qualifiers

Siasia Considering Osimhen For Olympic QualifiersNigeria U-23 coach, Samson Siasia, is considering drafting U-17 World Cup hotshot, Victor Osimhen, for the African U-23 Nations Cup in Senegal.

Osimhen setup a new goals record at the U-17 World Cup in Chile, where he scored 10 goals, netting in all seven games as Nigeria won a fifth global crown.

According to reports, skipper Kelechi Nwakali, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the U-17 World Cup and right-back, John Lazarus, were among those Siasia was considering for the Olympics qualifiers.

The African U-23 championship serves as qualifiers for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janiero, Brazil.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of the National Sports Commission, Alhassan Yakmut, has applauded the sterling performance of the Golden Eaglets who defeated Mali to retain the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

Mr Yakmut disclosed to Channels Television that the Eaglets and other athletes, who recently won laurels for the nation would be hosted by President Muhammadu Buhari at a later date to be communicated to the athletes and their coaches.

Lagos Nat’l Stadium: Reps. To Liaise With Agencies Over Renovation

Reps. To Liaise With Agencies Over Lagos Nat'l Stadium RenovationThe House of Representatives is to liaise with the Ministry of Sports and the National Sports Commission (NSC) to devise a scheme for the renovation of the National Stadium in Lagos State.

The motion was moved by a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) , Honourable Oghene Egoh, on Wednesday in Abuja.

Hounourable Egoh decried that the stadium had suffered a decade of desertion.

The House also urged the Federal Government and its agencies to ensure that the needed funds for the renovation is integrated to the 2016 Budget proposal.


NSC Releases Funds For All Africa Games

NSCThe National Sports Commission (NSC) has finally released funds for Nigeria’s participation at the 2015 All Africa Games (AAG) in Congo Republic but with conditions that the various sporting federations must account for every money spent.

The NSC Director-General, Al-Hassan Yakmut, hinted that about 2.9 billion naira was released to the commission to persecute this year’s games.

Yakmut also advised that only athletes with medal prospects should participate at Congo 2015.

Apart from the 19 sports that Nigeria would participate in, swimming and gymnastics have been placed on standby in the event.

The AAG 2015 is expected to hold in Brazzaville, Congo, between September 4 and 15, 2015.

Danagogo Wants Super Eagles To Be Competitive

DanagogoNigeria’s Sports Minister and Chairman, National Sports Commission, Dr. Tammy Danagogo has charged the Nigeria Football Federation and coaching crew of the senior national team to make the Super Eagles competitive and ensure that only the best players represent the country at all times.

The minister who was pleased with the recent two-legged friendly matches for the home-based team against Cote d’ Ivoire and Yemen in Abu Dhabi and in Dubai, urged the NFF to organise more quality friendlies for the the players to stay busy.

According to a statement from the commission, Dr. Danagogo advised that with regular friendly matches for the Team B Eagles, the coaches would be able to beef up the first team for crucial matches with new players discovered as the Eagles prepare for the 2017 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers scheduled to begin after the on-going 2015 edition in Equatorial Guinea.

“If the Team B gets regular friendly matches, the coaches will have a pool of players to select from to beef up the main team.

“They have to make the team competitive so that only the best will represent the country at all times,” he said.

He called on Nigerians to continue to support the Super Eagles despite their failure to qualify for this year’s edition of the Nations Cup, adding that he was sure the NFF and the players have realised the mistakes of the past and will ensure they are corrected.

Danagogo Passes Vote of Confidence On New NFF Board

DanagogoThe Honourable Minister/Chairman, National Sports Commission, Dr. Tammy Danagogo has expressed total confidence in the ability and capacity of the new Executive Committee of Nigeria Football Federation to make Nigerian football admirable.

Speaking during a courtesy call on him by the new NFF Board, Dr. Danagogo urged the new administrators to open channels of communication with all aggrieved institutions and individuals with a view to reconciling all parties and achieving lasting peace in Nigeria football.

“I congratulate you on your election and have confidence in you to take our football to where it should be. I have known some Members of this Board for several decades now, and some others for quite some time now. You are all people I can easily relate with.

“But the challenges ahead are huge. I want you to start reaching out to all persons who have issues and discuss with them, and find amicable solution to all matters. You must be ready to reconcile with all institutions and individuals of interest, such as government, FIFA, Members of NFF and stakeholders.”

New NFF President, Ambassador Chris Giwa thanked the Sports Minister for his continued support for the NFF, the National Teams and Nigeria football generally, and pledged that his Board would work hard towards meeting international practices and standards.

“The truth is that the NFF has been beset by crisis for a long time, for more than a decade. This new team is determined to bring these crises to an end. We will work hard towards bringing everyone together and reconciling in the interest of the Nigeria game.”

Present at the meeting with the Minister were Ambassador Giwa, NFF 1st Vice President, Chief Obinna Ogba, Executive Committee members, Chief Effiong Johnson (Chairman of Chairmen), Hon. Sani Fema, Chief Felix Amaechi Obuah and Mr. Adams Yahaya.

On Wednesday, the NFF president, in company with the new Executive Committee members, met with staff at the NFF secretariat, where he pledged to work with everyone and urged them to continue to give their best towards the development of football in Nigeria.

Nigerian Youth Athletes Quarantined In China

Youth_olympicTeam Nigerian athletes to the on-going Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China have pulled out of the Competition Wednesday following what officials have described as the discrimination of the athletes who were quarantined, isolated and barred from training alongside other athletes of the World since arriving the competition venue.

The Youth Olympics is scheduled to hold in Nanjing, China from August 16 to August 18. And Team Nigeria were to participate in three sports – Athletics, Wrestling and Beach Volleyball, with twelve athletes

In a statement signed  Wednesday by the Director General of the National Sports Commission, Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye Nigeria protested to the organisers that the treatment to the Nigerian athletes were inhuman.

The decision to withdraw Team Nigeria from the Games was taken after a meeting with Sports Minister, Dr Tammy Danagogo, Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, President, Engr Sani M. Ndanusa and the Director General of the National sports Commission, Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye.

Though the officials have not reacted to Nigeria’s withdrawal of her athletes, the discrimination and subsequent quarantine of the athletes is believed to be connected to the Ebola virus that is ravaging part of West Africa.

The athletes and their officials have been directed to leave China and head home.

The first edition of the Games, officially known as Summer Youth Olympic Games, was held in Singapore in 2010. It is an international sports, education and cultural festival for teenagers under the age of 17.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) established the Youth Olympic Games in July 2007, essentially to help to identify budding talents for grooming ahead of the Olympic Games.

The first edition of the Games, officially known as Summer Youth Olympic Games, was held in Singapore in 2010.

It is an international sports, education and cultural festival for teenagers under the age of 17.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) established the Youth Olympic Games in July 2007, essentially to help to identify budding talents for grooming ahead of the Olympic Games.

Danagogo Pledges Support For Other Sports In Nigeria

Hon Min of Sports  Dr. Tammy W. DanagogoThe Sports Minister and Chairman, National Sports Commission (NSC), Dr. Tammy Danagogo says there will be a re-consideration on the exclusion of some sports from the National Sports Festival.

Danagogo explained that the major reason for the move is to ensure that all sports registered under the NSC are given opportunity to develop, adding that he does not believe that some sports should be classified as lesser sports.

The sports minister, who was present at the 1st National U-15 Cricket Championship that took place at the cricket pitch of the Package B of the Abuja National Stadium, emphasized the need to make the country competitive in different sports and not just football.

He assured the President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation that the bat and ball sport will be reconsidered as one of the sports for the National Sports Festival, adding that National Council on Sports may be reconvened to discuss the issue.

“I do not believe that any sport should be excluded from the sports festival. I believe the festival should be used to develop all sports. Cricket is one of the serious federations that don’t run to me for funds.

If cricket can rank 34th in the world without support from government, if government and the private sector come in to support them, then they will do better than they are doing now,” he said, stressing “government should do everything possible to garner laurels from all sports.”

While reaffirming that he will implement the Federal Government’s road map to developing sports in the country, Dr. Danagogo said ” the era of discrimination of some sports will be over with me on the saddle as sports minister. Since the National Council on Sports is the policy making body where decisions are taken on matters of the sports festival, I will see if it’s meeting can be reconvened to re-evaluate the decision to exclude some sports.”

He promised the cricket federation that their request to improve their playing pitch will be looked into as he called on cricket followers to be part of the development of the sport in Nigeria.


Super Eagles World Cup Jersey Unveiled

Ahead of the 2015 FIFA World Cup, the Nigeria Football Federation has unveiled two sets of jerseys for the Super Eagles in Abuja.

Speaking at the event held at the Federation’s secretariat in Abuja, Director-General of the National Sports Commission, Gbenga Elegbeleye, said that the newly unveiled jersey was a deliberate attempt to rebrand the Super Eagles.

The Chairman, House Committee on Sports, Mr Ali Gaiya, who also spoke at the occasion applauded the efforts of the Nigeria Football Federation.

The newly unveiled jerseys were later presented to the representatives of President Goodluck Jonathan and the Senate President, David Mark.

The Super Eagles are to wear the newly launched jersey at the forthcoming international friendly against Mexico in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

The new design was produced by Adidas, a leading kit manufacturer in the world and the official kit supplier of the Nigerian national teams.

Commonwealth Games Baton To Arrive Nigeria

The Queens Baton for the 2014 Commonwealth Games is scheduled to arrive in Abuja on Monday, January 6 and would be received by officials of the Nigerian Olympic Committee and members of the 2014 Commonwealth Games Queens Baton Relay Committee.

The Baton is usually taken across all Commonwealth Countries to signify the commencement of preparations of the Commonwealth Games.

The Baton was last received in Ghana and paraded in Accra and Kumasi.

According to the Itinerary released by the organizing Committee, the Director General National Sports Commission Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye will receive the Baton in company of diplomats from Commonwealth countries accredited to Nigeria.

Thereafter the Motorcade will proceed to the Presidential Villa where the Baton will be handed to the Hon. Minister and Chairman, National Sports Commission, Mr Bolaji Abdullahi.

He is expected to present the Baton to the President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

The event is expected to climax at the State house with remarks from the President after which he will hand it over to the Hon. Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for a procession through the FCT.

The seven member Queen Baton bearers led by Sharad Rao Commonwealth Games Federation representative will leave Nigeria on Wednesday January 8, 2014.