By Ben Efe
Athletics Federation of Nigeria boss, Solomon Ogba disclosed at the weekend that professional standards would be used to select athletes and officials who will represent Nigeria at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India.
Ogba was speaking against the back ground of threats by some US-based athletes to stay away from the national team if outstanding debts owed them are not paid by the AFN. The AFN president denied that there was such situation on the ground, rather the federation is thinking about taking only medal potentials to the games.
â€œWe are going to apply strict standards to selecting our athletes. It is not going to be a jamboree like we have in the past.
â€œAny athlete who fails to meet world standards in their events will not make the team. We have made this clear to the athletes and it is left for them to train hard and achieve the set standards,â€Ogba said.
He argued that debt being owed the athletes does not stem from their participation at international events, rather it was from the Abuja grand prix.
â€œAt the Berlin 2009 World Championships we paid all their allowances.
â€œThe only debt we are owing the athletes is from the Abuja grand prix. This because we did not have sufficient funds at our disposal during that meet. As soon as there is money, all the outstanding of the athletes will be settled.
â€œBesides Iâ€™m not aware that any of the top athletes have written to the federation about their intention to run for Nigeria. Some them could not make it to the World Indoor because they have NCAA engagements.â€