By Temisan Amoye
Star Nigerian athlete Blessing Okagbare launched a stinging attack on Nigerian sports administrators on Thursday in reaction to the ban of 10 Nigerian athletes from competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by the Athletics Integrity Unit. AIU.
The Nigerian athletes were banned due to non-compliance with doping rules for Category A federations.
Okagbare who took to social media accused the officials of lacking passion and knowledge for athletics. Stating further that the officials abandoned their main responsibility, which is the welfare of the athletes to focus on issues such as securing kit deals.
Okagbare said, “I have said it before and I will say it again. If you do not know the sport, not passionate about it/Us (the athletes), then you have no business there as an administrator. The sport system in Nigeria is so flaw and we athletes are always at the receiving end of the damages.”
” They were busy fighting over power, Exercising their pride over puma contract/ kits forgetting their major responsibility “THE ATHLETES”. It’s sad that this cycle keeps repeating its self and some people will come out to say I am arrogant for speaking my truth. It is my CAREER”, The Olympics bronze medalist concluded.
The banned athletes include Favor Ofili, Chioma Onyekwere, Rosemary Chukwuma, Glory Patrick, Tima Godbless, Chidi Okezie, Ruth Usoro, Knowledge Omovoh, Yinka Ajayi, and Annette Echikunwoke.
In reaction to Blessing Okagbare’s statement, Nigerians took to social media to show solidarity with the athletes and express disappointment at the current state of affairs in the Nigerian sports scene.
Iyke Nwabuko: why don’t you guys form a strong association and kick these pretenders off the scene.
Tosin Onanuga: Blessing, you should lead other athletes to the sports minister @SundayDareSD and request for a new election and overhaul of AFN. Let people like Egbunike, Fatimah Yusuf, Wale Olukoju, Mary Onyali, Deji Aliu run that federation. These guys are graduates too and old enough.
Lebar4real: When engineer becomes sporting director, what do you expect from such? you should all boycott this event.
Saviorluv in response to Lebar4real: Well I’m sorry to say, but it doesn’t matter what discipline or training one has had to function as a director of sports, but with d analytical training one sld expect better. The NBBF president is an Engr too, but seems to be on a much better path, why?
The5Paul: From Leon to Blessing and Many more to come. Those Men up there that doesn’t know anything about the game but were there to occupy space expect result from them without making them Comfy. Its Uncalled for.
Johnson Ody : My dear switch allegiance to a country that understands that sport is not politics and shouldn’t be run by politicians who know nothing about the game but by technocrats. Nigeria plays politics with absolutely everything and it’s the reason we are down as a country.
BlackPanAfrica7 : People who have no business in administration are calling the shots in Nigerian administrative sphere. Meanwhile, aunty keep loading it till they change the system to allow competent people in the doors of the administration.