Why I stopped Oliseh’s sack – sports minister

Sports and Youth Minister, Solomon Dalung, has revealed why he did not allow the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to sack Sunday Oliseh after abusing Nigerians on YouTube.

Speaking in Abuja, he said: “Let me tell you that the NFF and the coach even had problems with the venue of the match against Egypt. While the coach wanted Port Harcourt, the NFF wanted Kaduna. So when I waded in, I let them understand that as the referee, I had the responsibility to mediate, so I appealed to them.

“Oliseh told me that there were a lot of negative issues that needed to be addressed and when I asked the NFF people, they started to talk against the coach and I told them not to go far with the issue of sacking the coach because I am not too much interested in that. We should be able to do things right.

“I told the federation that even as a novice, my own judgement of why we lost that match against Guinea is because after the 4-1 win over Niger, the players became overconfident. So, I told them that they don’t need to sack the coach.

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Dalung also defended Oliseh, saying the YouTube video was manipulated. “The NFF brought the issue of YouTube where Oliseh was alleged to have insulted Nigerians and said he should be made to apologise. I said YouTube? and wondered why Nigerians in the 21st Century are using YouTube to analyse someone’s behaviour, when in this era of technology, they can get the picture of a lady and use it to match their own and they will develop something and put on line.

“I looked at that video and the quantum of how it was fluctuating convinced me that it was an act of manipulation. That is my judgement and I am free to hold this opinion.

“So after I spoke to Oliseh for about 16 minutes, I did not notice any bitterness in him. He was talking about issues we need to address and the NFF knows how he trained those players. So, I told them to forget about sacking Oliseh for another coach whom they will equally sack when we play and lose to Egypt, then after sacking that one, we will hunt for another coach that we will sack and then, we will also sack the NFF because it is sack game,” the minister concluded.‎