New AFN boss, Olamide George begs Oduduru, other athletes over ‘unfair’ treatment
• Golden League returns soon
• Gusau’s committees may be dissolved next week
The new president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Olamide George has appealed to the nation’s athletes, particularly the foreign-based stars to put behind the ‘atrocities’ committed by the administration of Ibrahim Gusau, who was impeached on Tuesday following his alleged role in the ‘missing’ $135, 000 paid to Nigeria in 2017 by world athletics body, IAAF.
A five-man committee set up by the AFN to probe Gusau’s alleged involvement in the IAAF money saga will commence work next week, and submit its reports in three weeks.
Before the IAAF’s two weeks deadline to Nigeria to refund the money, there had been a cold war between some foreign-based athletes and the AFN over the manner they were treated by the Gusau-led administration at the end of Asaba 2018 African Senior Athletics Championship.
The athletes, including US-based sprinter, Divine Oduduru, hurdler Tobi Amusan and long jumper Ese Brume cried out after they were paid ‘peanuts’ of N107,000 as total package for their participation in the championship. Apart from rejecting the money, the athletes vowed never to honour further invitations from Nigeria.
George, who was the 1st Vice President of AFN under the Gusau-led tenure, told The Guardian yesterday that a new era would open in Nigerian athletics next week. “I am aware that a majority of our athletes, especially the foreign-based, are angry with the AFN for the treatment given to them at the end of Asaba 2018. I am pleading with them to forget what happened in the past and join us in this re-building process. We are starting with a Golden League very soon to put the athletes in shape for the challenges ahead,” George stated.
The Guardian learnt yesterday that the new AFN boss would dissolve all committees put in place by the Gusau-led administration on Wednesday, when the board meets in Abuja.It was also learnt that Gusau was officially served his suspension letter yesterday.