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Athletes, coaches praise AFN for accommodation, organisation

*As Sports Ministry refuse to release money for trials

By Olajide Fashikun

Athletes and officials attending this year’s All Nigeria Athletics championships have praised the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) for a wonderful improvement in the organisation and accommodation provided. This is despite the fact that the Ministry of Sports has refused to release the approved monies for the event.

“It was a common discourse around the arena where athletes and officials freely thanked the sponsors of the federation for giving them accommodation. This is the first time I am attending an AFN championship and I am given correct accommodation in the hotel. It has never happened. I hope this will continue.

A former national coach in his opinion said, “though, many of the athletes and coaches were praying for the system to be improved. Please help us tell them that the six classics be returned next season such that by the time we get to the grand finale, which is usually the All Nigerian national trials, we get the bumper allowances and bonuses. This used to be the standard some decades ago.”

An athlete who won her race submitted, “If this is the standard of respecting and giving some level of support from the federation, we would have been far better in terms of performance over the years. It is our prayers that people who effected this quality of welfare should be blessed the more. We are not animals whereby we are invited to national trials and we would be sleeping in very odd places.“

Another coach opined, “I am not sure we ever had a support system like this where the federation provided accommodation for all of us without exception. This is a welcome development. For once, I feel so proud that I am a Nigerian unlike before where we are not cared for.”

On the quality of organization, the former national coach said, “even the staffers of the federation are in a more relaxed mood. You can see for yourself. Results were easily made available. For once, journalists got results printed out for them not where it is read and in the process some figures are juggled. I am sincerely impressed by the first outing of this board.”

However, www.gongnews.net investigations revealed that the Ministry of Sports has refused to release the monies meant for the organisation of the event. Our source claimed that the people who are in charge of the federation does not belong to the “favoured” class thus, the withholding of the money.

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