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Fund athletics now or forget it, Coach Ariyo

Nigeria-born Saudi Arabia athletics coach, Taiwo Ariyo has urged the National Sports Commission to urgently fund athletics in Nigeria otherwise the country should forget about getting positive results at international events.

•Blessing Okagbare

Ariyo, one of Nigeria’s most promising coaches, made the charge against the back ground of dwindling fortunes of Nigeria athletics as was witnessed at the last World Championships in Berlin, Germany.

“There are no two ways about it. We have to fund the sport if we want our athletes to achieve results,” said Ariyo.
He noted that Nigerian athletics have gone from bad to worst, adding that all the structures and programmes that produced quality athletes in the past have been demolished and debased.

“In Nigeria, we are no longer doing the right thing. Here in Saudi Arabia and other countries that I have coached, I know just how much they pump into the sport yet they don’t have the kind of talents that we have.

“In Nigeria, it is all about football, forgetting that there are other sports that can equally bring glory to the country. If we want to get the right result, we must have to fund athletics right from the grass roots.

Otherwise let us forget athletics and know that it is only football that we practice in Nigeria.”Ariyo joined the Saudi Athletics Federation as coach last year after stints in Turkey and Cyprus.


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