By Ben Efe
Nigeria’s 4x400m women relay team to the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London have urged the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN president, Ibrahim Gusau to act on the payment of their winnings.
The team featuring Patience Okon-George, Yinka Ajayi, Margaret Bamgbose, Onome Nathaniel Glory and Emerald Egwim placed fourth in the final. The Nigerian women were in a pole position for a medal, but slipped out of a podium position that could have earned at least a sizeable amount. They won $16,000 for their efforts and up till now they haven’t received a dime.
Also the team haven’t received the $6,000 dollars they won after placing 7th at the 2017 World Relays in Bahamas. Officials of the AFN put the difficulty of paying the athletes down to the IAAF withholding of all payments due to Nigeria, because of the $150,000 grant that was mistakenly paid to the federation which officials claimed was used for “projects.”
The AFN president has written to the Sports Ministry to help in refunding the money to the IAAF, and it was based on this the athletes are asking for their payments.
“We haven’t been paid a dime from our winnings at the World Relays in Bahamas and last year’s IAAF World Championships in London,” lamented one of the athletes yesterday.
“We have put in all our best to represent this country only for us to be suffering all this hardships. “Personally speaking I have a family that depends on me, what do I have to show for all the long months away in camp and competition?
“This is the reason some of us do not look back when we get the opportunity to represent other countries, and those athletes are better off for their decision.”