By Dipo Olowookere
Minister of Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung, has reacted to media reports that he said the Federal Government was not expecting the Super Falcons to win the just-concluded African Women Cup Of Nations (AWCON) held in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
“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 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,” Mr Dalung had told journalists in Abuja on Thursday.
His comments received many backlashes from Nigerians, who called for his head.
But reacting to the issue on Friday at the National Planning and Implementation Committee of the first National Youth Open Water Swimming Competition tagged Youth Unity Cup 2016 at the Presidential Villa, the Minister claimed he was quoted out of context.
“May I conclude by trying to put into proper perspective an impression that has made national headlines to the effect that the Federal Government was not anticipating the victory of the Falcons and so could not have planned for it. This statement was attributed to myself.
“I want to categorically state that this is a statement taken out of context. And I cannot imagine or reconcile how. The commitment of the federal government to the support of the Falcons is indeed overwhelming,” he said.
He said further that, “The federal government was prepared because it has records of the antecedents of the performance of the players.
“The challenges we have today which has to do with their welfare is being given attention. We are working around the clock to see how to raise fund to address the issue of their bonuses.”
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