January, 12 2022.
By Wale Ajayi.
On assumption of office as minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare assured that he will not be a minister of football, rather he will prefer to give the NFF a free hand to do the right thing. However, whenever it seem they are getting it wrong, the ministry will not hesitate to put them back on track with wise counseling. And that has been the case ever since
Dare has kept his promises. Unlike his predecessors who spent the better part of their tenure chasing the NFF from one anti graft agency to the other, this man has distanced himself from those distractions and controversies, preferring to focus more on achieving the desired results on the field of play.
Talking about results, he promised on assumption of office that he was determined to revive two national monuments, left moribund by his predecessors.
The Moshood Abiola stadium in Abuja and the National stadium in Surulere Lagos have suffered serious damage because of several years of neglect but the Sports Ministry through private sector partnership has performed the unthinkable.
Just last month, the remodeled and refurbished Moshood Abiola stadium came alive again with the hosting of the presidential cup.
Football fans around the world praised the sports ministry for being proactive especially at such a time when the Super Eagles needed a permanent slaughter ground ahead of the fast approaching 2022 World cup playoffs.
Dare insisted that the team must camp in Abuja and make use of the lush green pitch at the Moshood Abiola stadium in their buildup to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
At the first pre tournament Send Forth party organized for a Nigerian National team in over 30years, the players and technical crew members thanked the Sports Ministry for giving them such a wonderful pitch and a befitting sendforth. They promised to do the Nation proud in Cameroon
Let's not also forget that in the midst of the dark cloud that gathered after the NFF decided to do away with former National team coach Gernot Rohr, NFF president Amaju Pinnick visited Sunday Dare for some wise counseling and the Oyo state born politician who once suggested the inclusion of another former international, Joseph Yobo to join the technical crew, advised the NFF to get a local coach in the interim, insisting that what Nigeria needs at this time is someone who understands the players, their mentality and can cope within the shortest possible time.
This was how the present director technical in the NFF, Augustine Eguaveon emerged as Chief coach of a Super Eagles team that seriously needed fresh breathe after five years of uninspiring and directionless football.
Tuesday's performance has proved once more that two good heads can always yield excellent results. The game changer Sunday Dare is showing everyone that you don't really need to create an atmosphere of discord or bad blood with the football federation to pass a message across.
He has maintained his grounds, retained existing relationships but has not failed to pass his messages across.when the need arises.