The 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.
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.