Disquiet in Nigeria’s camp as athletes grumble over allowances
• Trip to Colombia for World U-20 championship under threat
There are strong indications that all is not well in Nigeria’s camp at the ongoing World Athletics Championships, holding in Eugene, United States, as athletes are said to be grumbling over allowances.
The report of alleged disquiet in the team’s camp in Oregon came yesterday, just as a sources close to Nigeria’s U-20 camp hinted that the country might not participate in this year’s World U-20 Athletics Championships billed for Cali, Colombia, due to scarcity of fund. The competition in Colombia holds from August 2 to 6.
Some of the athletes, who spoke with The Guardian shortly before leaving the camp for morning session of the competition, yesterday, alleged that their morale was becoming low due to non-payment of allowances.
“It is not good for us to be competing here, and nobody is talking about payment of camp allowances. We are maintaining our cool for now, but for how long? Somebody should drum it into the ear of the sports minister that we need our camp allowances,” one of the athletes said.
Another athlete said: “We need motivation at this stage of the championship. I asked questions about our allowances, and no one is giving me any concrete answer. It is not the best way to go.”
A source close to the AFN hinted, yesterday, that the Secretary, Adeniyi Beyioku, is expected to travel to Oregon in a few days time to ‘sort things’ out.
Efforts to speak with Beyioku yesterday were unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, there is apprehension in the camp of the U-20 team that Nigeria might not travel to Cali, Colombia for the World U20 Championships in August due to lack of fund.
At the last edition of the U20 championship held in Nairobi, Kenya, Nigeria’s track and field stars re-wrote history by finishing third on the medals table with an unprecedented haul of four gold and three bronze medals.
The four gold medals won in Nairobi, Kenya, was the highest Nigeria has achieved, two more than the country has ever won in any edition of the U20 championships.
The source stated that unless the Federal Government releases funds, Nigeria might stay away from the championship.
The nation’s U20 athletes have been in camp in Asaba, Delta State for 10 days.