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AFN probes athlete’s ‘disappearance’ from Commonwealth Games camp


Solomon Ogba, the President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) declared yesterday that it was investigating the sudden disappearance of national athlete, Emmanuel Bamidele from the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games camp in Port Harcourt.

Bamidele, who took part in the Commonwealth Games trials in Abuja and ran 45.28 seconds in the men’s 400m,  was named in the 37-man squad  for  Gold Coast 2018  Games in Australia.

He was said to have disappeared from Team Nigeria’s camp a few days ago, with reports suggesting that he may have been lured away by oil-rich nation, Qatar.

AFN Technical Director, Sunday Adeleye, in a message to The Guardian yesterday said that though the federation had capable athletes who could step into Bamidele’s shoes, but they were investigating it (the disappearance).

“For every athlete, there is a replacement, but investigation is ongoing,” Adeleye stated.

However, former Nigerian jumper, hurdler and sprinter, Seigha Porbeni says the sudden disappearance of Emmanuel Bamidele from Team Nigeria’s camp was a result of poor welfare package for the athletes.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Porbeni stated that the country has poor welfare management for athletes, adding that he foresees a situation where more sports men and women would defect to Qatar or Bahrain.

“It has to do with welfare packaging of our athletes. If you don’t take the welfare of your athletes seriously, another country will take them away. A few years ago, we raised an athlete called Oluwakemi Adekoya. At the time she was running very well in the low hurdles, Bahrain snatched her away.

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