Despite promises that Nigeria will never experience the type of shame brought upon the country at the Olympic Games in London two years ago, danger signs are again flashing that the worstmay happen at the Commonwealth Games scheduled to hold in Glasgow, Scotland in July.
Two months to the Games, there is no significant sign of any preparation by Team Nigeria athletes to warrant medals haul in Glasgow.
Last Wednesday, national federation presidents who met with the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), to deliberate on the matter, left the National Stadium offices of the Olympic movement sighing in frustration.
They were told that no money has been released by the Federal Government for the preparation of the team and there is no hope in the horizon that it may happen soon to enable our athletes sparkle in the Games.
“What this means is that Nigerians should not expect any miracle from the athletes we are taking to the Commonwealth Games. If two months to the Games in Scotland, money has not been released for preparation, what then do you expect from the athletes? ”, observed President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Chief Solomon Ogba, shortly after the meeting at the NOC.
Ogba who also doubles as the 2nd vice president of the NOC and President of Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, was quick to add that similar scenario played out during the country’s planning to participate at the London 2012 Games which ended in a fiasco as no Nigerian athlete made podium appearance.
“We were in a similar situation for the Olympic Games in London two years ago. At the end of it all, no Nigerian athlete won any medal and we the administrators were blamed for the failure. It is to avoid taking blames for what is not our direct faults that we are sounding it loud and clear that nobody should expect medals from Team Nigeria in Glasgow,” stressed the AFN chief who is running his federation’s programmes from private funding.
Apart from the AFN’s Golden League and All Comers, Nigeria’s elite athletes late last month featured in the Mt Sac and Penn’s Relays in the United States of America.
“On our own, we are running our programmes at the AFN, hoping that this will help put our top athletes in shape for the Commonwealth Games.”