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AFN moves to sanitize road races in Nigeria, reads riot act to organisers

By Guardian Nigeria
18 January 2023   |   5:16 pm
All existing and intending road race organisers in Nigeria must henceforth register with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) as a precondition to getting their races sanctioned. AFN Vice President, Tafida Gadzama, who is also the head of the federation's road race sub-committee, said this became necessary following complaints over non-payment of prize monies and…

Athletes compete during a road race event in Nigeria. The AFN has come out with new rules aimed at sanitising road races in Nigeria.

All existing and intending road race organisers in Nigeria must henceforth register with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) as a precondition to getting their races sanctioned.

AFN Vice President, Tafida Gadzama, who is also the head of the federation’s road race sub-committee, said this became necessary following complaints over non-payment of prize monies and uncertified measurement of race courses.

“The AFN received a letter from World Athletics warning that the federation will be held responsible for the non-payment of prize monies. This is unacceptable going forward, and to ensure our athletes get rewarded for participating in any road race, all road race organisers must annually register with the AFN and will be issued licences certifying them as such,” said Gadzama.

The AFN says registration as a road race organiser is just the first step towards getting any race sanctioned.

“The other conditions to be met will be attached to the licenses that will be issued upon registration,” he further said.

The AFN, through its road race sub-committee, will also send technical and medical delegates to all registered road races in Nigeria.

“We have seen races where World Athletics competition rules are not strictly followed and where world records are set when we, for now, know the level of our athletes. Like World Athletics have been doing to protect the integrity of road races worldwide, especially with the label road races, the AFN, as an affiliate of the world body, cannot do otherwise, hence the decision to send technical and medical delegates.”

He added: “The technical delegates will ensure all World Athletics rules are strictly applied before, during, and after a race, and all race courses are properly measured.”