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Asaba 2018 AAC: Nigeria’s preparations in disarray

By Ben Efe

Nigeria’s preparations for the Senior Athletics Championships billed for August in Asaba, Delta State is on a permanent hold.

Trying Times… Nigerian athletes (from left) Divine Oduduru, Tega Odele, Obinna Metu and Ogho-Oghene Egwero asking questions about the future of athletics in Nigeria.

This is just as Athletics Federation of Nigeria president, Ibrahim Gusau is under scrutiny, following his failure to organize local competitions as advertised by the federation’s  calendar year of activities.

“By now we should be in camp but nothing is happening.

“When we were in Gold Coast Australia for the Commonwealth Games, the technical director planned to resume training immediately we returned to Nigeria.

“But it is quite obvious now we are not preparing for the championships,” said former sprinter and coach Endurance Ojokolo.

Meanwhile Nigeria’s main rivals South Africa, Kenya and Cote d’ Ivoire have put their teams in perspective and are ready to compete.

Home based athletes were left seething with anger on Thursday, when the AFN Golden League was put off to a later date. This was despite the fact athletes were ready to run even on empty promises.

“We put the Golden Meet off to a later date where the comfort and well being of the athletes can be adequately catered for,” AFN secretary-general Ameachi Akau stated.

But his summation was not well received by a cross section of athletes and coach. Some called on the AFN president to resign if he is incapable of delivering on his pledge to move the sport forward. “As as far as I’m concerned there is no AFN. All attempts to work out a solution to the crisis at the AFN are being frustrated by the Sports Minister.

“He imposed Gusau on the AFN and yet he is not giving him funds to run programmes of the federation. We need a clear-out of the rot at the AFN if we are to move forward,” said a  sidelined board member.

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