By Ben Efe, Barcelona
Athletics Federation of Nigeria officials have indicated their interest to lodge a protest with the world governing body, IAAF over the manner Nigerian athletes were treated by the Spanish embassy in Lagos.
Nigeria missed the opening day events, because the Spanish embassy in Lagos delayed granting visas to team and when they eventually did so on Tuesday July 10, some of the athletes with brighter prospects were not granted entry.
“We are definitely going to lodge a protest. Not only that; we plan to picket the Spainish embassy in Lagos, when we return to Nigeria,” thundered AFN president, Solomon Ogba.
He described the refusal of the embassy to grant visas to his best athletes as sabotage, adding that they will be pushing for compensation.
“They lied to the IAAF officials that we didn’t submit our applications on time. They also claimed that our best athletes had to undergo security checks.
“But I pointed out to them that the law of Schegen visas stipulates that ten working days for the granting of visas. We brought in our applications two weeks prior to our original date of departure.
“Are they telling me that Nkiru Nwakwe who won the youth Olympics and Bukky Abogunloko are security risks,” Ogba queried.
He argued that it was not the first time Nigerian athletes would treated in that manner. He called on the sports and foreign affairs ministries to intervene in the matter and stop this undue discrimination against Nigerian athletes.