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AFN denies alleged unfair treatment of Oduduru, Brume, others

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The AFN says it will settle Oduduru and other athletes’ allowances when its finances improve.

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) says it did not in anyway shortchange the athletes, both local and foreign-based, who flew the nation’s flag at the 21st African Senior Athletics Championship, tagged Asaba 2018.

Some of the athletes, including U.S.-based sprinter, Divine Oduduru, and Cyprus-based long jumper, Ese Brume, had lambasted the AFN for ‘shortchanging’ them at the end of the championship.

They claimed in separate interviews that they were given just N107,000 as allowances for the duration of the championship instead of the agreed $700 ($100 per day). That was aside the $3,000 for each gold medal won, which they alleged the federation is yet to pay.

However, the Technical Director of AFN, Sunday Adeleye told The Guardian yesterday that the agreement it entered with the athletes before the commencement of the championship still stood.

“There is no way we will shortchange our athletes,” Adeleye said: “The Asaba 2018 Championship was an international event, and all the athletes that represented Nigeria are being treated that way. But there was cash problem, and what the sports ministry did was to pay part of the money to the athletes and promised to pay the balance later.

They were paid in naira instead of US dollars because the championship took place in Nigeria. I have taken my time to explain to some of the athletes that they will get their balance as soon as cash is available.”

On the athletes’ claim that they rejected the N107,000 given to them, Adeleye said, “Yes, I am aware some of them did, but nothing will happen to the money. It is in safe custody with the sports ministry, and as I said, they will get it in full when fund is available.”

Adeleye revealed that the AFN was re-strategising by throwing its doors open to individuals and corporate organisations to partner with it. “Unlike before, we are now ready to give license to individuals who want to be Meets Managers. So far, we have gotten six people and more are showing interest. We will give out the licenses free this year.

“Our new Secretary General (Adamu Elijah) is working very hard to put in place a system that will make things very easy for the athletes during competitions,” he stated.


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