Minister for Sports and Youth Development, Solomon Dalung, has come under fire for what has been described as an embarrassing correspondence to him by world’s football governing body, FIFA.
FIFA in a letter on Thursday, turned down Dalung’s request to meeting with FIFA President Gianni Infantino over the leadership crisis rocking the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Nigeria faces a worldwide ban from football if it fails to resolve the crisis and handover the adminstration and offices of the NFF to Amaju Pinnick-led board by Monday, August 20, 2018.
Dalung reportedly tried to circumvent FIFA’s stance on Tuesday, August 14, by writing through the office of the Nigerian Ambassador to Switzerland, seeking to meet with Infantino alongside members of his reconciliatory committee and Chris Giwa, head of the other faction.
But in a swift reply, FIFA rejected the idea while reiterating the stance of the Bureau Council of FIFA to ban Nigeria on Monday if they fail to do as requested.
“While we are aware of the seriousness and urgency of the matter, we regret to inform you that we are not in a position to respond favourably to your request for an appointment with the FIFA Ieadership. In fact, the FIFA President is indisposed during the proposed period,” stated FIFA in their response.
“Moreover, we would Iike to recall that one member of the proposed delegation, Mr Chris Giwa, is currently under a worldwide ban, in accordance with the decision of the FIFA DiscipIinary Committee dated 10 January 2017 to extend the five—year ban from taking part in any kind of footbaII-related activity imposed by the Nigeria FootbaIl Federation’s (NFF) Disciplinary Committee on 12 May 2016,” added FIFA.
The governing body also reminded the Dalung that the only channel with which it relates to its member bodies is through the legitimate Football Federation and advised him not to use other means in the future.
“We would Iike to emphasise that we normally communicate with and through our member associations, in this case the NFF under its Iegitimate President Amaju Melvin Pinnick.
“Consequently, we would be grateful to have any future correspondence be routed through the NFF directly,” said FIFA.
Nigerians, many on social media, have slammed Dalung for his gaffe:
Below is a screenshot of FIFA’s letter: