Fallout of Rio Olympics: Senate to invite Sports Minister, NOC

The Senate Committee on Sports has indicated its intention to probe the roles of the Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung and the Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC) over the poor performance of Team Nigeria and the activities of the country’s contingent to the just-ended Rio Olympics.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, Senator Joe Obinna Ogba, disclosed this on Thursday, during an interview with journalists at the National Assembly, Abuja.

Ogba who informed that he was part of the official delegation to the Rio 2016 said a lot of factors ranging from funding to logistics contributed to Nigeria’s no-show performance at the Games.

He stated that the Senate will look into the circumstances which led to the unimpressive performance of Team Nigeria in Brazil when it resumes from recess next month.

“My committee intends to invite the NOC to come and brief us on the Rio Olympics. Apart from the late arrival of our athletes’ kits, you can see that even our national anthem at the opening ceremony was the wrong one. So, all these, we are going to find out what happened when we resume,” Ogba said.

On the donation of $390,000 to the Dream Team VI by a Japanese plastic surgeon and football enthusiast, Dr Katsuya Takasu, the federal lawmaker said it was wrong of the team to receive the money because its source was unknown.

“I don’t think it was nice for our country to accept such money given the happenings around world now. Money is good but it’s not every money that comes your way that you collect. So, I associate myself fully with the stance of the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr Amaju Pinnick.”

However, according to Ogba, the calls for the resignation of the Sports Minister were alien to Nigerian culture as only the President can hire and fire a minister.