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Nigerian athletes brace up for bleak 2010

Unless there is a reversal of fortune for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, the country’s athletes are set to face the 2010 season without running a single competition at the local level.
There are even doubts if Nigeria will present athletes at the World Indoors billed for Doha Qatar in March and the African Championships July in Nairobi, Kenya.

The federation’s technical director, Sunday Bada, disclosed that a bleak future faced the sport if the federation was not bailed out of its financial predicament.

“We can’t talk of organising competitions or attending the world indoors when we are in debt. There is nothing on ground at the moment and unless the IAAF sends us tickets we may not be going for the World indoors,” said the 1997 world indoor 400m champion.

During the 2009 season Nigerian athletes had the opportunity to compete at the local scene with the AFN arranging three classic competition and one regional meet in Port Novo, Benin Republic and the Abuja Grand prix, but this rendevous plunged the AFN into debts.

“I doubt if we are going to get any competition next season to run in. This is like returning to the old order when we usually train and train, but there is no competition to unwind,” sighed athletics coach Gabriel Opuana.

He urged the National Sports Commission to urgently address the situation at the AFN otherwise athletics will be history.

“There is no arguing the fact that we are in troubled times in athletes. If we continue like this, tell how we can make it at the Commomwealth Games and even 2012 Olympics, which we ought to be preparing for,” said the coach.


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