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AFN official kicks over minister’s plan to probe Doha 2019 fiasco

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Divine Oduduru was subject of a registration fiasco that nearly ruined Nigeria’s participation at the just-concluded IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

• Board should be carried along, says Ebewele
An alleged plan by Youth and Sports Minister, Sunday Dare to probe the activities of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) at the recently concluded Doha 2019 World Athletics Championships seems not to be going down well with a top official of the athletics body (AFN).

Team Nigeria, with 25 athletes and unspecified number of officials, returned from Doha with just one medal, a bronze won by Ese Brume in the women’s long jump.

Midway into the championship, Team Nigeria made big headlines in some local and foreign media, when the sports minister gave a directive for the immediate recall of AFN Technical Director, Sunday Adeleye from Doha.

The minister was said to have taken the decision against Adeleye due to ‘avoidable massive and unacceptable technical and administrative lapses’ that brought embarrassment to the nation.

On his arrival, the sports minister was said to have directed that the AFN Technical Director be investigated as to what led to the ugly development in Doha.

The Guardian learnt that the ministry has set up a five-man panel to investigate what transpired in Team Nigeria’s camp in Doha.

However, an official of the AFN, Brown Ebewele, frowned at the setting up of the panel yesterday. “I have heard that the sports ministry has set up a panel to probe the activities of some individuals in the AFN regarding what happened in Doha,” he told The Guardian. “I am not against it, but the minister should be made to understand that the AFN has a board.

“If some individuals are being probed for any wrongdoing, the AFN board has to be carried along. Only a few board members were in Doha for the World Championship, and I feel there is the need to involve the board in whatever investigation the sports minister is carrying out.”

The Guardian learnt that a former board member of the AFN, Prof Ken Anugweje is heading the five-man panel, though a source close to him hinted yesterday that the man had not received an official letter to that effect.

Efforts by The Guardian to speak with the sports minister yesterday were unsuccessful.


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