Dalung goofs again, asks FG to stop funding national team
Nigerian sports minister Solomon Dalung has sparked off another controversy after he said the government should withdraw its sponsorship of the Super Eagles qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup because it is too expensive.
He said money saved by government from such a withdrawal could be better invested in developing the game, while also arguing that African countries should make the AFCON top priority and not the World Cup.
Dalung made his controversial suggestions on a radio interview with the Voice of America Hausa Service.
He called on the country’s government to withdraw its sponsorship of the Super Eagles on their journey to Russia 2018, stressing that the Nations Cup and not the World Cup should be the priority of all Africa countries including Nigeria.
He said World Cup qualification was money consuming and energy sapping and would rather advise Nigeria and other African countries invest these funds into more meaningful ventures to develop the game at all levels.
The government had to bail out the Super Eagles with a 100 million Naira for them to fly out to Zambia in October.
Nigeria lead their qualifying group with six points after two rounds of matches, ahead of Cameroon (two points), Zambia (a point) and Algeria (a point).
The minister’s latest comments will come as a rude shock to chieftains of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), who have maintained a steady and cordial relationship with the minister in recent times.
Dalung was leader of delegation when the Eagles went, saw and conquered in Ndola against Zambia and he also accompanied Nigerian Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to visit the Eagles in training before the match against Algeria