Sports Minister advocates review of football structure

Nokai Origin, Abuja

Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung has apologised to all Nigerians for the inability of the National team to qualify for the 2017 Africa cup of Nations to be hosted by Gabon.

Addressing pressmen ahead of a very crucial meeting of the Nigeria Football Federation and the sports Ministry coming up on Tuesday 5th April, Dalung said there is a need to have a careful review of the Nigerian football structure.

He revealed that he has convened a meeting of the entire NFF to get a detailed report of what really transpired and by so doing, Nigerians will be carried along.

“The resignation of the former coach sets agenda for looking into our football administration.

I have set up machinery for the reforms of sports in Nigeria. The internal scrambling in the federation is not helping development,” said Dalung.

“So far, my visit to Rio, I inspected the facilities and residence for athletes including that of Nigerian athletes. What is ahead now is camping after sorting out the funding aspect. 54 athletes are in camp for the games already and others will be added as they qualify. The fire Brigade approach in sports administration is one of the draw backs of Nigerian sports and it must be discontinued,’’ the Minister explained.
Hiring and sacking of coaches

The minister attributed some of the failures of Nigerian sports to the many changes of coaches like the case of Oliseh who quit in the midst of important qualifiers. This he highlighted has weighed down on the performance of the teams making results quite abysmal.
Dalung pointed out that “the constant hiring and sacking of coaches speak volumes of the NFF itself. We must put a stop to this trend.”

Funding
“One of the problems encountered when the nation is participating in sporting events is that the federations do not make known their schedules to the sports ministry ahead of time before competition,” Dalung explained.

He added that every federation has a secretary who is supposed to make things easier between the ministry and the federations.

Two or three days before a competition, that is when most of them come with request. N2.9 billion released to National Sports Commission for athlete’s preparations to the Rio Olympic Games is yet to be accounted for.

He added that the ministry is still concerned about the money and wants to know its where about.

Nnenna.O