Minister of Youth and Sports, Barr. Solomon Dalung yesterday explained why he prevailed on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to rescind its plan to sack the Chief Coach of the Super Eagles, Sunday Oliseh. And in doing so he also exposed his inadequacies and poor understanding of the matters.

The Minister who spoke yesterday at a media briefing in Abuja said after listening to both the NFF and Oliseh, he came to the conclusion that the issue may not have been as drastic as it was painted. Oliseh called Nigerian critics “insane” and insulted the football federation on social media. He broadcast his comments and the minister interpreted what Nigerians heard as not drastic as it was painted. But nobody painted any wrong picture. Oliseh broadcast his comments himself.

Dalung also hinted that he pointed it out to the NFF that sacking Oliseh with barely one month to the all important 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against the Pharaohs of Egypt will be counter productive.

Dalung and Amaju Pinnick
Dalung and Amaju Pinnick

He further argued that the federation should endeavour to purge itself of the character of sacking coaches with the slightest excuse because that in a way is also an indictment on them.
“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. They brought the issue of You Tube and I said that in the 21st century we should not be using You Tube to analyze somebody’s behaviour. 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 also will sack the NFF because it is sack game.”

The minister’s comment portrayed him as a pessimist who probably has lost hope on the Eagles-Egypt match.

He concluded that if the NFF keeps employing failed coaches, it also means that they too have failed because they employed bad coaches.


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