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Dalung bars NFF from selling Under 23 Eagles players


The U-23 Eagles defeated Algeria 2-1 to win the African U-23 Nations Cup hosted by Senegal.

The U-23 Eagles defeated Algeria 2-1 to win the African U-23 Nations Cup hosted by Senegal.

Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, yesterday barred the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) from selling players of the national U-23 team to clubs in Europe and outside the country without an appropriate developmental framework.

Speaking on alleged regular ‘illegal transactions’ of players at the NFF, Dalung warned that International transfer certificates should not be issued against the interest of the player.

He said that it was unfortunate that the young players, who brought glory to the country by winning the African U-23 championship in Senegal and the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile, were being sold out to clubs without the players’ understanding of the contract they were being made to sign.

A statement signed by the minister’s special assistant, Nneka Anibeze, reads: “It has come to my knowledge that these young players, who are the source of our pride in world football, are currently being subjected to harassments and manipulation of signing for clubs without them even understanding the content of the contract.

“Therefore, I have directed the NFF which has the authority to grant licenses of these players to refrain from endorsing any of these slavery transactions without a clear framework that follows the due process required for such contracts.”

The Minister added that as custodians of sports in the country, the Ministry of Youth and Sports will not close its eyes to slavery contracts of players without their consent.

“It will amount to moral suicide if we sit and watch the future of these young players not only being traded but also negotiated in the interest and benefit of some selfish agents and football officials. Any of such purported transactions that violate not only laid down procedures but player’s rights to choose will not be recognized,” said Dalung.

Dalung urged agents and players, who intend to play elsewhere to get appropriate clearance of which the Sports Ministry will be part of the process.

The statement reveals that NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, has been communicated on the development.

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