Home Nigeria Nigeria Athletics Chief Denies Marginalization Of Home-Based Athletes

Nigeria Athletics Chief Denies Marginalization Of Home-Based Athletes


720x360xsports-festival.jpg.pagespeed.ic.HK9Naoxng0The President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, Solomon Ogba, has described as incorrect, accusations that the federation is neglecting athletes based in Nigeria and supporting athletes based abroad.

Ogba, who led Team Nigeria track and field athletes to win a gold medal at the IAAF World Relay in Bahamas penultimate week, said the board of AFN, since its inauguration in May 2013, has done more for athletes based in Nigeria than any other federation.

“This season alone, we have had three camps for athletes that participated in the African youth and junior championships and those that went for invitational relay in Kenya. We have also organized two competitions, the All Comers in Abuja and Lagos, apart from the Olukoya junior championships’’.

Ogba revealed that though it is the responsibility of state athletics associations and athletics clubs to organize conditioning camps and prepare athletes for a new season, the AFN has taken up the responsibility to ensure home-based athletes are in good shape for the start of each season.

Despite zero subvention from the National Sports Commission, NSC, and lack of support from corporate bodies, Ogba said, the AFN still organizes a league,

“We don’t get any support either from the government or corporate Nigeria, yet we have consistently organized a Golden League, thanks to great sacrifice from my board members and staff of AFN. We give cash incentives to home based athletes with prospect of doing well in major championships’’.

The president also said that many of the home based athletes, especially those with very good prospect have enjoyed generous assistance from the federation.
“For our home based athletes to get the needed international exposure, we arranged for them to participate in about five international competitions this year alone. They were in Ethiopia, Mauritius, Kenya, USA and Bahamas. Their participation in these events was made possible through great sacrifice by the board when funding and assistance was not coming from any quarter’’.

Ogba said he is not aware of any board that was inaugurated before May 2013 that has done more than AFN in terms of winning laurels at continental and global stage, organizing competitions at home and providing support for home based athletes.

On the issue of Nigerian youth in diaspora representing the country, the AFN president said the federation will not close its door on any Nigerian based in any part of the world as long as they are eligible to represent Nigeria.

He said the board deserves commendation rather than condemnation for the good work it has done since May 2013.



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