Solomon Dalung, the Minister of Youths and Sports, says he is still waiting to act as may be necessary over Nigeria being sanctioned in November by world football governing body FIFA.
Dalung, while speaking with newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, said he was still waiting for the reaction of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to the sanction before deciding on what to do.
“I am awaiting the report of the NFF committee on the matter before taking the next step,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that FIFA had sanctioned Nigeria for fielding an ineligible player in the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying match against Algeria on Nov. 10.
FIFA had gone on to award the match’s three points and three goals to Algeria, after a suspended Shehu Abdullahi was fielded in the match which ended 1-1.
The world football governing body also fined Nigeria 6,000 Swiss francs for the offence.
Speaking on the Super Eagles’ preparations for the 2018 World Cup, Dalung said all arrangements were in top gear.
“Friendly matches have been lined up for the Super Eagles ahead of the World Cup.
“Preparations are in top gear, and we have reviewed our welfare packages and we plan to make prompt payments to ensure that players are motivated.
“The welfare of players is very key, because it will not only motivate them, but build in them confidence and trust.
“Also, the National Technical Director should be given the complete free hand in the choice of players and the management of the team. Everybody should limit himself to his responsibility.
“This means nobody should interfere so that we can hold him, at the end of the day, accountable. But when you have interference, we will not be able to hold him accountable,” he said.
NAN reports that Nigeria will face Argentina, Croatia and Iceland in Group D of the first round of competition at the World Cup.