World Athletics Championship: Sports Ministry Frustrating Nigerian Athletes Participation
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By Amaechi Agbo
The 18th edition of the World Athletics Championship will commence in Oregon, the United States of America on Friday, July 15, 2022 unfortunately, Nigeria’s athletes are yet to report to camp even as their participation in the championship remains doubtful following the ministry of youth and sports failure to release funds for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, bestchoicesports.com.ng can report.
The athletes who have been penciled to take part in the championship are yet to start camping, especially the home-based contingent with their foreign counterparts reported to have been training individually for some weeks now.
This unhealthy situation have left the affected athletes frustrated as they are currently confused and do not know nor have information about how they are going to take part in the global event.
Credible sources within the AFN and the sports ministry as well as close to the athletes have disclosed that the athletes have been complaining about their preparations for the games in Oregon and the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham later this month.
Report says the foreign athletes have been training individually but the home-based athletes contingent are worried that lack of proper preparations could hamper their effective performance in Oregon
The athletes’ situation have been made worse by the AFN President, Mr Tonobok Okowa’s refusal to use his personal money to sponsor them.
A source in the AFN told this paper that the athletics boss is unhappy with the ministry of youth and sports following their refusals to defray his accumulated money owed by the ministry following his continued sponsorship of the athletes for previous competitions.
This paper gathered that the sports ministry is owing the AFN President up to the tune of over 35 million debts
“The AFN has also been handicapped as lack of funding from the ministry has stalled their preparations for the World Championship. It is said that the president of AFN has been left confused as the ministry hijacked the affairs of the federation and since he isn’t forthcoming with spending more of his personal money for camping and competitions, the athletes are left to their fate,” a report being circulated in social media claims.
The President has been seen to facilitate the camping and payments of athletes for competitions at different times and might be tired already of doing so, according to sources he is being owed millions of Naira by the Ministry already and might not want to commit any further.
It could be recalled that federations participating in continental and global championship have been left unsupported by the ministry including the national handball team bwhobare currently in Egypt participating in the 2022 Africa Men’s Handball Championship
The 2022 World Athletics Championships, is scheduled to be held in Oregon, United States from July 15–24.
Meanwhile, world athletics governing body, the World Athletics (WA) have released the official list of Nigeria’s 22 athletes registered for the World Athletics Championships
Imaobong Nse Uko
Sikiru Adeyemi (M)
Dubem Amene (M)
Patience Okon-George (W)
Samson Nathaniel (M)
Knowledge Omovoh (W)
Imaobong Nse Uko (W)