Nigerian Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung has cleared the air on the exclusion of the Super Eagles 2019 Africa Cup of Nations budget from the Ministry’s expenditure for international competitions for the year under review.
The 2019 edition of AFCON is scheduled to hold in Egypt from June 25 to July 21, with the Super Eagles of Nigeria among top countries tipped to lift the most prestigious trophy.
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) official claimed that the Ministry of Sports did not include AFCON budget in the envelop it submitted to the Federal Government as part of the annual budget.
Solomon said: “My office is not at all responsible or has anything to do with the failure of NFF to discharge its responsibilities. I even found it ridiculous that they omitted to include it at the budget office.
“I believe they wanted to test this claim that football can do without government funding which now back fire. It is a costly experiment of their search for the so called autonomy in the NFF proposed bill.”
He continued: “During the 2019 budget process, the budget office invited NFF to present their activities for the year. This was because the chunk of interventions fund in the previous years has been taken by sports due to poor budget allocations from the National Assembly.
“The problem was their request for intervention came late in the terminal days of the administration. NFF is fully responsible for the predicaments of our team in this tournament,” Dalung explained.