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Nigeria Olympic Committee Applauds Sports Minister



Calm appear to have returned to the relationship between the Nigerian sports ministry and the country’s Olympic body, the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC.

The relationship between both bodies went sour earlier last week following the release of electoral guidelines for the composition of national sports association.

But the ministry took a second look at the guidelines and came up with some modifications. This seems to have found favour with the NOC which on Sunday issued a press release applauding the sports minister, Solomon Dalung.

According to the release signed by the NOC public relations officer, Tony Ubani, the committee applauded Dalung for his ”love, understanding and demonstration of Olympic values” after agreeing to amend the guidelines for the 2017 Federation election guidelines.

A dark cloud of uncertainty had hovered over Nigerian sports after the sports ministry released guidelines to the sports federations’ elections which the NOC regarded as being at variance with the Olympic Charter as well as with the International Federations (IFs).


Two contentious provisions: “the issue of eligibility as contained in the guidelines that did not conform with the Olympic Charter, that seek to bar some Nigerians in the international federations from seeking office were expunged after the minister met with NOC leaders and federation presidents on Friday.

NOC President and member of International Olympic Committee, Habu Gumel said that he and his members were lost in admiration of sports minister’s great courage and moral values by dropping the contentious provisions that were not in line with the IOC and IFs statutes.

”All the stakeholders applaud the sports minister for his handling of the disagreement and resolving it amicably. This shows that he is a true democrat, a lawyer who understands the implications of disobeying rules and he has demonstrated his undying love for Nigerian sports”, Gumel said.

After mutually agreeing to remove the offending provisions and allowing the federations’ constitutions to prevail, sports minister Dalung said, ”We decided to make amendments to some of the guidelines after wide consultations with the stakeholders in the industry to conform to the IOC Charter and International best practices”.

The minister also said that ”we also resolved that the NOC should be actively involved in driving the process and look at areas that can be adjusted in the interest of democracy”.


Those who met with the minister to review the offending provisions include; NOC President, Habu Gumel, second vice president, Fatai Williams(Swimming), NOC Secretary ,Tunde Popoola, Edward Fom (Rugby), Daniel Igali (Wrestling), Dauda Yussuf (Handball), Dr Lanre Glover (Triathlon) and George Ashiru(Taekwondo).

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and the country’s most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022.

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