•FIFA official clears air on suspension of youth devt fund
Even as world football governing body, FIFA, is believed to be working with its member federations to ensure better understanding of it recently introduced new requirements for the management and administration of development funds, Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, has insisted on embarking on a full scale investigation of the finances of the federation.
“FIFA’s forensic audit has raised concerns about documentation of the federation’s accounts. 19 grave issues were identified in FIFA’s audit report which needs to be looked into. The federal government has already set machinery in motion to embark on a full scale investigation of those issues,” observed a statement from the minister’s media aides last night.
Dalung insisted that days after the congress of the NFF passed a vote of confidence on its President, Amaju Pinnick, he was yet to receive a report of an audited account of the football federation.
The minister also insisted that Nigeria was yet to formally nominate anyone to contest the CAF Executive Committee seat which the NFF president has been duly endorsed for by the congress.
“I received a communique of the Congress which referred to my action as uninformed. Instead of providing me with the minutes, the Congress went ahead to endorse its president, two weeks after its secretary general had sent a letter of his nomination to CAF.
“The Ministry of Youth and Sports wants to make it clear that Nigeria has not endorsed anybody to contest. The Ministry will constitute a committee to screen and recommend to government, a suitable candidate who will represent Nigeria,” stressed Dalung.
But an independent source in FIFA insisted yesterday in an email in possession of THISDAY that the issues Dalung referred to as ‘grave’ were things that could be resolved without jeopardizing Nigeria’s youth development in football.
“We (FIFA) are confident that by working together with the Nigeria Football Federation, the issues will be resolved. FIFA is fully committed to supporting the member associations as we continue to improve our processes and structures.
“In light of this, FIFA recently introduced new requirements for the management and administration of development funds allocated to its member associations.
“In cases of insufficient information as to the management of those funds FIFA may suspend the ordinary flow of such funds until a full understanding of the situation is achieved.
“FIFA continues to work and cooperate with the respective member in order to obtain the required information and , if needed, install the appropriate procedures and controls for such development funds,” concludes the top FIFA official in the email yesterday when enquiries were made concerning the suspension of development funds to Nigeria.