By Ben Efe
USA and Great Britain have always paraded athletes of Nigerian descent and they are making in-roads and winning medals for these countries, while Nigeria suffered at international events. Athletics Federation of Nigeria’s effort to lure some of these athletes seems to be yielding no results.
Usually, it is the athletes who fail to make the US or British teams that come back home to give it a try. But according to the AFN president, Solomon Ogba, world class athletes of Nigerian birth have showed little interest in clothing themselves in Nigerian colours because of the prevailing conditions Nigeria’s sports found itself.
“Why would a world class athlete come to Nigeria when we cannot match his demands. We are searching far and wide for quality athletes to represent Nigeria. But how do you go about it, when for instance, America is offering the athlete lots of money and here we don’t have money to spend on athletes,” said Ogba.
He added that for Nigerian athletics to catch up with the rest of the world, the sport must have to be funded just like what obtains in major athletics countries of the world.
“We haven’t got the kind of funding that will put us at the world level. Things have been difficult, even as we are talking we don’t know where to turn to get funding for our world championships.”
However, he added that the sports minister Bolaji Abudulahi has an understanding of the situation and was extending support.