FORMER MINISTER AFFIRMS EMBARRASSMENT CAUSED NIGERIA AT THE OLYMPICS COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED
Written by Samson Ojeniran on August 9, 2021
The immediate past Minister of Youths And Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, has admitted that the crisis which rocked Nigeria athletics before and during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games started under his watch, but affirmed that the embarrassment caused the country at the games could have been avoided.
Ten Nigerian athletes were disqualified from participating at the games for not meeting minimum anti-doping requirements, while renowned sports kit manufacturing company, Puma, terminated its contract with Nigeria for breaches in contractual agreements.
In an exclusive interview with AIT’s Lai Lawal, Dalung congratulated Team Nigeria for their performance in Tokyo but was critical of the manner the current leadership of the Ministry of Sports managed what he described as an avoidable embarrassment to the nation.
Under Dalung’s watch as Minister of Sports, Nigeria won just a bronze medal in football at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
He trended in the social media space for negative reasons in the build-up to the Rio 2016 Olympics, following unguarded comments he made about the bronze medal-winning football squad, who were stranded in Texas, a few hours before the kick-off of their opening match which they won 5-4 against Japan.
(Editor: Ifeanyi Mark)