Sports minister, Solomon Dalong made a surprising assertion that Nigeria does not need to attend the World Cup because the game is riddled with corruption and we can never win it. Speaking to Voice of America, Hausa Service, he said:
“The cup that we can win is the African Cup of Nations. There is nothing again that will take us to another man’s balcony in the name of the World Cup. We already have the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.
For these, we can attend such meets. But I am opposed to the World Cup. We don’t agree to it. Conspiracy in the World Cup is too much.
“There is the issue of bribery and favouritism. There is also the issue of corruption before you are even given the hosting rights. We are here suffering from hunger and we don’t have money for such things. That is why, even if we try many times, once it gets into the politics of the game, we can never win.
“That was why this year, we had to tackle him (FIFA President, Ginani Infantino) and we said, ‘you , Infantino, if you win this election, you have to give us a position. If not, we shall not agree.’ And you see , by the grace of God, he even picked an African as his Secretary-General. That means he has started taking honey and rubbing on our lips. That means that one day, we shall get to really lick the honey.”