‘Late release of funds delayed kits arrival in Rio’

Solomon DalungMinister of Youths and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung, has blamed the Federal Government for the late arrival of sports kits meant for Team Nigeria at the just concluded Rio-Olympics in Brazil.

Dalung, who spoke to journalists, yesterday in Yola, said the funds that were approved for the Rio Olympics was released four days to the departure of the athletes to Brazil.

“Late release of funds was responsible for the late arrival of the sports kits meant for the athletes, we could not pay our contractors on time and when we finally paid, it took customs in Brazil 10 days to clear the kits,” he stated.

The minister, who was in Yola to solicit funds from Governor Mohammed Umar Bindow, to enable him organise the coming National Youths Games to be hosted in Calabar, in November, said that the collapsed of sports in primary and secondary schools in the country has affected the growth of sports in Nigeria.

“The only way to reduce unemployment, control crises in the country and build our national teams is to revive sports at the primary and secondary schools in the country. This will help not only in controlling crimes activities, but it will generate jobs for the youths,” he maintained.

Dalung, who blamed media over poor rating of the performances of athletes in Rio, said that Team Nigeria made the country proud by creating a record of being the first African player to appear in the quarterfinals of table tennis event and in addition, winning a bronze in the football contest. He said, “You journalists are not fair to Team Nigeria, our athletes put an impressive performances during the Games in Rio, but the media painted the picture as if Team Nigeria was the worse team in Brazil.”

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