Ex-minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, says he was committed to resolving the leadership tussle in the Nigeria Football Federation during his tenure.
The NFF at some point under Dalung, had factional presidents Amaju Pinnick and Chris Giwa, but the outgoing minister, in an exclusive interview with Punch, said the NFF crisis was still lingering because of the “absence of a legal regime.”
He expressed displeasure at the countenances of some stakeholders, whom he said wanted him to settle the crisis with sentiments.
“One of the challenges I faced, which is quite unfortunate, is the Nigeria Football Federation crisis. Well, many people believe that because I’m from Plateau (State), whatever decision I took was to support someone from Plateau. Ironically, Chris Giwa is somebody that we’ve never been on the same page throughout, even when I became the sports minister,” Dalung said.
“My commitment was to see how to end that crisis. I wanted justice and understanding. I believe that throughout the crisis, there was no decision that I took that was for personal interest. I set up the Elders Committee and their recommendations were helpful.”
Reacting to a question on how the NFF crisis could be resolved, the ex-minister said, “We have been hypocritical about having a legal regime that will run football in Nigeria. The absence of a legal regime will continue to bring issues.
“It is important that we have a legal regime of football in Nigeria. If we do not have it, then we will keep operating the way we are and factionalising the stakeholders with a lot of interests and sentiments.
“The statues we are using must be domesticated if the crisis in Nigerian football must end.”