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Crisis break out in AFN over 21st African Athletics championships

*AFN board member queries award of hosting right to Delta state

*We never met to discuss or decide on the championship

Wadzani Fidelis Gadzama, a member of the out-going board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has declared as illegal the purported granting of hosting right of the 21st African Athletics championships to Delta state.

Gadzama, a member of the gold-winning 4x400m relay team to the Sydney 2000 Olympics and a member representing the North East zone on the board of AFN says at no time did the board meet to consider the hosting right for the event with a view to presenting to the Congress for ratification.

”My attention has been drawn to the news report that the president of Confederation of African Athletics (CAA), Kalkaba Malboum, is in Nigeria to inspect facilities in Delta state for the 21st African senior Athletics championships billed to hold in 2018.

“I want to categorically state that at no time did the board of the federation met to deliberate on the state to host the event,’ said Gadzama in a press release he signed and made available to www.gongnews.net

‘The procedure for such and other policy decisions is usually drawn up by the board and taken to the congress for ratification. Even if the board of the AFN has granted Delta state the hosting right, it will still need the ratification of the congress before it can become law.’

Gadzama is threatening to drag the board of the AFN to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the governing body for the sport for this breach in procedure and other breaches that have occurred in the life of the out-going board.

“I am going to petition the IAAF on this if urgent steps are not taken to redress this unconstitutionality. The era of one man deciding at his whims what happens in the federation is over. We cannot allow one man and his group of zombies to get away with the breaches of the constitution of the AFN and IAAF. Article 24.1 of the IAAF is clear on the role of the congress.

It is the highest authority of IAAF and sports of athletics worldwide. The congress has the power to set out or amend the constitution,’ further said Gadzama in the press release.

Gadzama is amused that the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) is laying claim to having supervisory role over the sports federations including the AFN. ”This is far from the truth. The AFN is only answerable to its congress which must ratify all policy decisions including programme of activities for a new season made by the board.

“In fact Article 5.1 under membership clearly stated that the IAAF shall comprise national governing bodies for Athletics which have been democratically elected in accordance with their constitutions. So where does the purported power the NOC is claiming comes from?’ asked Gadzama.


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