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Africa Sports News of Friday, 6 August 2021


Sports ministry brought shame to Nigeria at Tokyo Olympics — Ex-minister Dalung

Ex-minister of Sports for Nigeria, Mr. Solomon Dalung Ex-minister of Sports for Nigeria, Mr. Solomon Dalung

Immediate past Minister of Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung, has blamed the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development under the leadership of Sunday Dare for the “show of shame” witnessed by Team Nigeria at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Dalung, who appeared as a guest on Arise TV, lamented that the sports minister failed to provide leadership that could protect the image of Nigeria.

The PUNCH had reported that Team Nigeria suffered jersey shortage, athletes disqualification that resulted in protest, public outcries by members of the team; and conflict among officials and athletes over Samsung 5G phones.

According to Dalung, the ministry caused the country’s woes at the global event by dissolving boards of federations 84 days to the beginning of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The sports minister Dare had on April 29, 2021, dissolved the boards of 31 National Sports Federations and constituted three-man Caretaker Committees to take charge of the federations.

He explained that though federations had challenges and crises under his administration, he ensured that athletes and other sportsmen and women were not affected.

When asked what was responsible for Team Nigeria’s woes at the ongoing Olympics, Dalung said, “I think the dissolution of boards. It is a lack of patriotic political will to consolidate on the gains on the ground.

“When I was the minister, I continued from where my predecessor ended. When we got to the field, we built on previous successes and Nigeria did very well.

“Dissolving federations three months to Olympics is an indication that we are not prepared for Olympics. No (Army) general dissolves his troops on the eve of an attack and expects to win a war. The dissolved boards have trained and catered for the athletes for more than two years. Crises are part of human existence, the management is what determines the quality of leadership. I inherited many crises, but I resolved them.

“Leadership is about taking responsibilities. When things go wrong, somebody has to be responsible. The entire drama of shame is avoidable. This is a shame that the country has found itself.”