YOUTH and Sports Development minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung yesterday disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari was happy with the performance of Team Nigeria at the just concluded 2016 Olympic Games.
Rising from his meeting with the president whom he had gone to brief on the outcome of Nigeria’s participation at the quadrennial Games, Dalung, who absolved himself from the poor performance recorded by Nigerian athletes, told State House reporters that President Buhari commended Team Nigeria for doing the country proud.
“All I did was to brief the President on our performance, the challenges we had, the progress we made because in 2016 Nigeria was celebrated. Two Nigerian athletes, Aruna Quadri and Chierika Ukogu, were recognized internationally in Rio, that happening to Nigeria is an achievement.
“He (President Buhari) also appreciated our performance and thanked us for doing the country proud and keeping the flag flying. He challenged us to do more for the country to move sports forward,” Dalung said.
The minister added that he pleaded with President Buhari to host the contingent despite winning only one bronze medal in football and coming 78th on the medals table.
Stressing that his critics were wrong to blame him for the country’s poor outing at the Olympics as the “abysmal performance pre-dates my
appointment”, Dalung affirmed that, “We need to go back to the grass-roots and groom talents for future competitions.”
Meanwhile, the minister feigned ignorance on the appointment of a foreign technical adviser for the Super Eagles by the NFF which he said are yet to brief him about the development.
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