NFF CRISIS: Dalung under fire for daring Osinbajo

Monday August 20  2018  was the date Nigerian football was marked for retribution by the Federation of International Football Association, FIFA. The world football governing body had threatened to ban Nigeria if the leadership impasse that had engulfed the Nigeria Football Federation was not settled on that day.

Osinbajo and Dalung

It took the intervention of the Vice President, who was then Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to avert the ban, as the federal government struck an accord with FIFA by giving them written assurances. The ban was averted and today Nigeria remains a member of the international football family.

“It was a masterstroke,” a concerned football enthusiast said of Osinbajo’s effort, which he said was aimed at bringing a permanent solution to the crisis.

A day after, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung issued a statement titled ‘WE STAND WITH THE RULE OF LAW’.

Dalung While welcoming the Vice President’s intervention in the matter, Dalung insinuated that the issue could not be considered settled with a temporary measure. Said Dalung, “This crisis cannot be solved with a temporary measure or scratched on the surface. The intervention of the Vice President should not be viewed as different from an attempt to abate an escalating situation,” insisting that the matter had a subsisting judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

“As a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, who took oath of office to protect and defend the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I will prefer to stand with the Rule of Law instead of the opinion of men,” the statement reads, damning the repercussion and making light of the effort of the Vice President who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

Nigerians, who are aware that FIFA is still monitoring the Nigerian situation expressed anger and trepidation at the Minister’s arrogance and standoffish disposition in a matter he was supposed to appear as a father-figure. Former Director General in the defunct National Sports Commission, Dr Patrick Ekeji said he was at a loss over who should interpret the law better between Professor Osinbajo and the Sports Minister. “The Vice President is a SAN so he certainly understands the letters, nuances, language of law better,” Ekeji said, adding, “it is therefore bizarre what Dalung is saying.”

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Whilst the Porto loanee played for the Super Eagles Team B in a post-season friendly against Atlético de Madrid in May, the Rotherham United defender was considered for a friendly against Ivory Coast in January 2015 but was not released by the Gunners because the game was not on Fifa calendar for international matches.
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