All real and imagined crises and controversies in Nigeria football have been put to the sword by the recent successes of the various National Teams, so says the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung.
Dalung made this declaration at the 71st Annual General Assembly of the Nigeria Football Federation, which took place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja on Wednesday.
“The crises in Nigeria football have all been erased by the recent successes, and I therefore earnestly urge you all to work in unity and for the good of Nigeria football and the Nigeria nation.
“I have been wanting to ask this question for a very long time: Why do we have crises in Nigeria football? There is no institution or movement that does not experience crises here and again. But crises should never be perpetual. The successes we are experiencing have erased these crises.”
Nigeria recently won the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the fifth time, in Chile, while the U-23 National Team won the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations in Senegal. The U-23 Team has also qualified for the 2016 Olympics, just as the Super Eagles B has qualified for next year’s African Nations Championships and the Falconets have qualified for the 2016 U-20 Women’s World Cup. The Super Eagles have progressed into the group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup African series, and the NFF has completed a round of elite, overseas capacity –enhancing programs for referees, coaches and administrators.
Commending the efforts of the Amaju Pinnick –led NFF to take Nigeria football to new heights, Dalung at the same time charged the Board to continue to administer football with justice and fairness, and to ensure payment of outstanding salaries of Coaches being owed, and of any outstanding bonuses and allowances due to any group of the National Teams, before the Christmas celebrations.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Youth and Sports, Distinguished Senator Obinna Ogba lauded the commitment and focus of the Amaju Pinnick administration, while applauding the recent triumphs of the U-17 and U-23 National Teams in major championships.
“I charge the NFF to take stock of those things they put in place for the recent successes, so that those things can be sustained for future championships. I also commend the Federation’s capacity –enhancing programs.
“I pledge that the Senate Committee on Youth and Sports will always be there for the NFF and other sports, through proper and efficient legislative oversight function and appropriation of funds.” He also charged aggrieved members of the football family to sheathe their swords and allow peace, which will bring greater progress, to reign.
Former NFF General Secretary, Hon. Sani Ahmed Toro equally praised the efforts and innovations of the present NFF administration, as he celebrated recent triumphs of the various National Teams.