Following the backlash received from Nigerians on his recent statement on Super Falcons victory, Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has said the statement was taken out of context.
Instead, the minister stressed that government was committed to paying the outstanding entitlements of the players.
Solomon Dalung made the clarification on Friday, when President Muhammadu Buhari granted audience to the Senator Kabir Gaya-led delegation organising the National Youth Open Water Swimming Competition.
The Minister sparked outrage on Thursday, when he stated that government was currently facing difficulties in paying the Falcons’ entitlements because nobody expected them to win the just-concluded CAF African Women Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
He was quoted as saying:
“Don’t forget that nobody even knew the team will emerge victorious. If we were confident they will emerge victorious, all the federation would have done is to plan for the process of participation and entitlement.
“It is already established in sports tradition, when you win this is what you are entitled to.
“The situation is highly unfortunate and I don’t like it. These girls have given confidence to women who want to embrace sports, so this will go a long way in killing this laudable achievement. It is unfortunate but we will make sure the right thing is done.”
In reaction, some Nigerians have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately the sack the Minister of Sports for his excuses on the inability to pay the team. The concerned citizens described the whole episode as an ’embarrassment’ to the nation.
One of those who bashed the government for its inability to pay the female team is Reno Omokri who said Dalung’s statement that the government does not expect us to win is an indication that Federal Government has a defeatist mentality.