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Dalung Denies Feud With Pinnick, Tasks NFF On N1.6bn Grant

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PIC.13. MINISTER OF SPORTS, MR SOLOMON DALONG (L) WITH THE PRESIDENT, NIGERIA FOOTBALL FEDERATION (NFF) MR AMAJU PINNICK AT THE NFF EXTRA ORDINARY GENERAL-ASSEMBLY IN ABUJA ON WEDNESDAY (13/4/16). 2899/13/4/2016/OTU/NAN

Sports minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung has denied conflict between him and Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), but admitted that he called officials of the soccer body to order over their failure to state how they spent government funding for the Super Eagles’ World Cup outing.
While also insisting his holds no malice with NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, Dalung said the NFF did not retire N1.6bn they got from the sports ministry to prosecute the Eagles’ Russia 2018 programme.
However, Dalung admitted that the only complaint he had with the NFF was the soccer body’s failure to explain how the N1.6bn World Cup funds were spent, thereby the decision to withhold further grants.
Dalung, though, also stressed that he did not have any personal face-off with any official of The Glasshouse, and says a recent photograph of him hugging Pinnick should not be read to mean anything beyond normal.
The minister expatiated: “When people talk about reconciliation with the NFF, I tend to wonder.
“I am in charge of the ministry of Youth and Sports Development, NFF is a parastatal under my ministry.
“I have the responsibility of over-sighting and ensuring that the rules and regulations are complied.
“All I did was raise an issue, which went public, denying funding, but I said it was not correct because it was putting government in bad light.
“We actually funded every activity of football in Nigeria. Government funded all the matches played during the World Cup.
“We released about N1.6 billion to them during the World Cup, which they were unable to give us retirement.
“This was misconstrued as if there was crisis. There cannot be crisis because I was just doing my job. I want them to do what is right.”

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