…begs Buhari for prompt release of budget
By Lawrence Olaoye
Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, has said the news of Ebola virus ravaging the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will not stop the schedule friendly of the Super Eagles with that country ahead of the World Cup holding in Russia next month.
The Minister, who briefed newsmen after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa yesterday, also disclosed that he pleaded with the President to intervene in the prompt release of the budget for the prosecution of the tournament.
Dalung equally raised the fears that some people have started misleading others that they were in charge of mobilizing people to the World Cup to support the Super Eagles without his input.
According to him, those to be mobilized for government sponsorship must not only be known but must be known to the President.
Asked whether Ebola outbreak in the DRC would not stop the friendly, he said “Nigeria is going to play the friendly with DRC, I have discussed with the Federal Ministry of Health, with the World Health Organization in patticipation, we have reviewed the situation and received adequate information about it. So we have agreed on major approaches. One, the DRC team is coming through a chartered flight and those coming for the match will be using that chartered flight and they would have been screened from the DRC and they will be screened here in Nigeria.
There is going to be no any other person that is going to be admitted using any other means of transportation for the match. We also discovered that the Ebola outbreak is limited to a particular place and it has not escalated. So we wouldn’t want to run the risk of setting a precedent which we will later be a victim.
Based on that we only introduced strict policies to ensure that the match takes place and the match will take place.”
On the delay in the Super Eagles budget, he said “On the approved budget, I informed him that we have not gotten the releases and we asked him to intervene so that the funds can be released because we have gotten all our funds from FIFA, from CAF, we have had a dinner for the team; our donors have redeemed their pledges but on the side of government we need to round it up and the President has assured he was going to do something about it immediately to ensure that that gap is closed.”
He expressed satisfaction with the selection process for the Super Eagles that will play in the tournament.