The minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare, has reminded all the national sports federations that they cannot be bigger than Nigeria, saying their legitimacy stems from the sovereignty of the country.
He gave the warning inaugurating the recently constituted Interim Management Committee to oversee the affairs of Nigeria’s basketball for next two years during the weekend in Abuja.
The Minister posited that the relationship between sports federations and governments should be constructive, collaborative and complementary and not antagonistic and adversarial.
His words: “Whenever there is a departure (from collaborative relationships), it becomes clear that other interests over and above that of the sports and the athletes have crept in. Federations draw their legitimacy from the Federal Government of Nigeria and a sovereign Nigeria.”
According to Dare, whatever power the sports federations and their boards have, they only exercise them on the behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
He urged the federations not to seek to take advantage of the privilege of legitimacy they enjoy to denigrate the authority of the Federal Government before international organizations and on the altar of enlightened self -interests.