Youth and Sports minister Solomon Dalung has called on the Nigeria Football Federation to pay all outstanding salaries and allowances owed to coaches and players before the Christmas celebrations.
The NFF recently declared itself broke and unable to meet its obligations to staff and the national teams under its scope. But Dalung who was speaking at the 71st congress of the
Nigeria Football Federation in Abuja, stated that crisis should not be perpetual in Nigeria football administration. He noted that the successes brought by the Golden Eaglets and the Nigeria Under-23 team recently should be built upon so that crisis can be avoided.
“ I have heard series of complaints from players and coaches of how their salaries and allowances were not paid. From previous reports of crisis from the players camp, the issue has always been that officials took players money! Please pay them their money. An angel said to the three wise men behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy. This is Christmas season. Bring glad tidings to the players. Pay them all outstanding bonuses and allowances before Christmas”.
“However, I keep asking myself, after all the victories, what is behind the crisis in the NFF. “ I want to borrow this phrase from Amaju. He said he will have to step on toes to move Nigeria’s football forward. I will trample on toes .
But crises should never be perpetual. The successes we are experiencing have erased these crises.”
Dalung, urged the Amaju Pinnick led board of NFF to work harder and take Nigeria football to new heights, and also continue to administer football with justice and fairness. Pinnick in his address gave kudos to the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari for all the support it gave to the federation in the outgoing year.
However, he said his board has recorded a lot of achievements despite the dwindling resources including the recent successes of the national U-17 and U-23 teams who won the FIFA cadet championship and the African championship respectively.
He also stated that his board has further improved the standard of football in Nigeria with the numerous capacity building activities organized for the referees and coaches by the federation in conjunction with some of its partners. While reacting on the issue of allowances due to players and coaches, Pinnick said efforts are being made to pay them even as he argued that it is not a peculiar situation because of the prevailing economic reality in the country.