Lagos - Minister of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung has revealed the reason why he called a meeting between Amaju Pinnick and Chris Giwa in an attempt to finally solve the issue, and says the watershed is about sharing formula and not service to the nation.
The peace meeting held on January 20 in Abuja ended in a stalemate after both sides went physical against each other. Pinnick however tender an apology to Giwa.
Speaking on 93.3 Unity FM, Jos on Monday, Dalung also revealed among other things, that he personally paid the Dream Team match bonuses while in Senegal before they could win the CAF U23 Africa Cup of Nations in December.
“Players and coaches are owed so many months of bonuses yet people claimed that all is well and peaceful in the football family. I went out of my way to pay players directly arrears of allowances in Senegal before we could win the trophy yet people claim all is well.
“The non-payment of bonuses and allowances to players for months is the crisis in NFF and not my efforts to make them realize it. Where were those clamouring now when players have to wash their jerseys before playing? Why was there no press outrage over these injustice?
“All the noise about NFF crisis is cover up sponsored by those who benefit from non-payment of allowances of players and coaches.
“While our players trained and played with hunger to victory, sponsored editorial opinions cannot protect them but favour those responsible. Can any of the stakeholders tell us why the protected fighting in NFF? Do they have immunity to oppress and exploit players and coaches?
“Anybody who love the progress of sports should be concern about the welfare of athletes and not shielding cohorts of impunity,” he said.
Also read: Shameful sight as Sports Minister hears Pinnick, Giwa grievances
“Where there's protracted crisis then corruption and injustice are the neighbors. No doubt the fighting is about sharing formula not service.”
He also said Nigeria government sponsor the Nigeria Football Federation, yet are harassed with FIFA ban.
“Government fund sports in Nigeria yet it does (not) have a say in NFF, even when peace is at stake, we are harassed with ban from FIFA.
“I received a letter from a Jos based lawyer notifying me on the NFF issue. I had to call a meeting to listen to both sides of the story. When I was appointed, I was called a novice! That I had never even seen a football. I agree!
“I was a very good goalkeeper in school. Played no. 7 and no. 9. But all these qualifications don't even make you a good administrator!
“I cannot shut out Chris Giwa because he's from Plateau state. I'm a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria not Plateau state. I cannot fold my arms and watch anarchy prevail because some people think a case is dead. As a Minister of Youth and Sports, it is my duty to listen to every case brought to my table without fear or favour.
As far as the NFF crisis is concern, tt is yet to be seen where the pendulum will swing in the end.For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.