The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, on Thursday in Abuja said Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has not endorsed the Amaju Pinnick-led faction of the Nigeria Football Federation.
Dalung, in a statement released by Nneka Ikem-Anibeze, his Special Assistant on Media, said media reports to that effect were incorrect.
The reports had claimed that Osinbajo’s endorsement was in view of the threat by world football governing body, FIFA, to ban Nigeria indefinitely from its activities by Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that FIFA had on Tuesday said it would take drastic measures if Pinnick was not given control of the federation.
“The reports are hallucinatory and invented. Though I met with the Acting President after the FEC meeting, it had absolutely nothing to do with the NFF impasse or football matters at all.
“A purported ‘breaking news’ being circulated by one Daniel Ator, a `Government House correspondent’ is totally false and a figment of an imaginary Government House correspondent,’’ the minister said.
He said the journalist said to have circulated the report was even non-existent.
“First of all, there is no correspondent in the Government House Chapel called Daniel Ator. Which media organisation does he work for?
“At no time did Acting President Osinbajo affirm government’s position on the NFF, nor did President Muhammadu Buhari write any letter to the Attorney-General of the Federation directing otherwise.
“It is a planted story and a fake news. There was no directive from the Acting President countering the court order,’’ Dalung said.
He, however, said the issue was still being handled by the Committee of NFF Elders Stakeholders.
The minister said he was hopeful that the parties in the crisis would be able to come to an amicable resolution. “Nevertheless, the status quo remains’’.
He insisted that the report represented the desperation of interests, reflected in trying to counter a Supreme Court Order, and was grossly misguided.
“This is not about a faction of an NFF leadership. It is an issue of the decision of the Nigerian court against an International statute. The truth cannot be overturned,’’ Dalung added.