Sports reform committee misleading Dalung, says NFF

Minister of Youth and Sports, Soloman Dalung

Minister of Youth and Sports, Soloman Dalung

As Nigerians look forward to a lasting solution to the crisis rocking the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), an official of the federation has pointed accusing fingers at the Sports Reform Committee as the body ‘misleading’ the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung.

The accusation came yesterday, just as more management staff, acting chairmen of committees and secretaries put in place by factional leader of the NFF, Chris Giwa, were said to have deserted him.

Last week, Dalung inaugurated a committee to reform all sports in the country. The committee, which has Godwin Kienka as chairman with ex-Green Eagles skipper, Segun Odegbemi, Ayo Ojubato, Bola Oredele,

Fatai Williams, retired Colonel Sam Ahmedu, Yusuf Datti, Kayode Thomas and Mary Onyali, as members, is to restructure and redesign sports from a service oriented model to a private sector developmental one.

However, the NFF official, who spoke with The Guardian yesterday, alleged that majority of the committee members were out to ‘wrestle’ football from the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF board at all cost, adding that they were ‘misguiding’ the sports minister and at the same time leading him to believe they were working in the interest of the nation.

“I can tell you that the main agenda of this Sports Reform Committee set up by Dalung is to make sure that Amaju is removed as NFF President. The sacking of the Amaju-led NFF board by a Jos court last Friday was just one of the scripts written by the committee.

“Some of the members feel they are not being carried along by the Amaju-led board. They are all out to feed the Sports Minister all sorts of qualms, but it will be unfortunate if Dalung should take them at the risk of Nigerian football facing FIFA’s ban,” the official stated.

But a member of the Sports Reform Committee, Kayode Thomas, disagreed yesterday with the member, saying: “Our committee has not even met. We will sit on April 18 and I doubt if any member of the committee is interested in stopping Amaju as NFF president. As things stand now, the minister is even in support of Amaju against Giwa.”

Meanwhile, the camp of the factional leader of the NFF, Chris Giwa, has ben depleted following the decision by more of his ‘members’ to reject his appointment.

Former spokesman of the then Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Austin Mgbolu, had earlier turned down his purported appointment into the Match Commissioners Appointment Committee by the Giwa-led NFF on Monday. It was learnt yesterday that other members had openly dissociated themselves from him (Giwa), after sensing that FIFA and CAF’s hammer could fall on them.

Meanwhile, former Secretary-General of the federation and one time member of House of Representatives, Sani Toro, has accused Dalung of ridiculing the image of Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari before the international community, just as sports critic and former Special Adviser to the Kano State government, Shauib Gara-Gombe, has called for the immediate resignation of Dalung for ‘bringing shame’ to Nigeria.

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