The Youth and Sports Minister Barrister Solomon Dalung has called for support for the ailing Super Eagles’ Coach Sunday Oliseh.
While answering questions on the feud between the Coach and the Nigeria Football Federation by members of the House Committee on Sports during a budget defense on Tuesday, Barrister Dalung stressed the need to support the Coach ahead of other qualifying matches.
“We must appreciate the way Nigerians behave and their sentiments to sports, especially football. Nigerians do not accept anything short of victory. The performance of the team that led to whatever we are hearing, from my own analysis, was due to overconfidence.
“In terms of preparations and planning, you could access them based on their first outing. Of course, they had some welfare challenges which we inherited when we came on board. We took steps to secure approval for funds but the process of the release of funds could not beat the time of the outing. That also contributed to their early exit”, the Minister explained while defending Oliseh and his team.
Barrister Dalung said he had called Oliseh to hear his own side of the story but could not trace any bitterness in their conversation. Although Oliseh admitted that the contents of the publication on players’ welfare were true, the coach said it didn’t come from him.
The Minister also sought the NFF President Amaju Pinnick to find out if Oliseh had been sacked based on what was being written in the papers.
Barrister Dalung said that after he met with the NFF President earlier in the day he called for peace in the federation and support for the coach.
“The idea of losing matches and sacking coaches is over. We cannot be winning matches all the time. We must build wider spaces in our minds for failure and success because that is the only way we can develop.
“The fact that he lost a game is not enough for us to begin to look at history. You don’t run a country like that! The man should be allowed and supported to come back and prepare the team for the qualifying matches ahead. If he had health challenges while working for us, we shouldn’t abandon him at this time”, Dalung said.
Coach Oliseh left immediately for medical check up after the team’s exit from the African Nations Championship in the first round.