Former national 100mÂ hurdles champion and veteran coach, Armelia Edet has urged the National Sports Commission and the Athletics Federation of Nigeria to settle all allowances owedÂ Nigerian athletes.
Edet who was national coach of the AFN for several years said that settling all the outstanding debts owed the athletes will make them have a settled mind to compete at the Commonwealth Games.
Miss Edet was speaking against the background of threats by NigerianÂ medal potentialsÂ to shun Nigeriaâ€™s team to the Commonwealth Games billed for August in New Delhi, India. Some of the athletes in an e-mail sent to the AFNÂ signified their intention to ignore invitation to the national trials if they were not settled their outstandings.
â€œI donâ€™t know if they are being owed. But if it is true, they should be paid to boost their morale.
â€œThe athletes are not receiving any form of training grants. They solely rely on such little allowances to keep going and if they are being owed it doesnâ€™t often help their preparations,â€ said coach Edet.
She urged the AFN to address the issue, because it was capable of dragging and in the long run will give the country embarrassment.
â€œI remember in 2003 during the World Championships in Paris. The athletes refused to run the relay, because they claimed that they were owed money.
â€œIt is about time we really take the athletes welfare and training seriously. We are talking of participating in the Commonwealth yet we don’t even have the athletes.
â€œOther countries started conditioning their athletes four years ago. We just got started and here we are talking about whether athletes will participate or not.â€