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Nigerian athletes ‘divided’ over competitions in Akure, Ozoro

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Olamide George

• AFN May Wield Big Stick
The leadership of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) it is monitoring some local athletes who are said to be working round the clock to sabotage the All Comers event slated for Akure, Ondo State next weekend. The even, the first for the year, is designed to bring life back into the sport that has suffered from maladministration in recent years.

The AFN, under the leadership of Olamide George is organising the All-Comers event in Akure between February 14 and 15 for the athletes to kick start their preparations for the season.

The Guardian learnt that another set of people, who break away from the AFN have scheduled an event for the same period in Ozoro, Delta State.

An official of the AFN hinted yesterday that the body was monitoring the situation with a view of wading its big stick if necessary.

“We can’t have two athletics governing body in Nigeria,” the official said. “At the moment, the AFN led by Olamide George is the only one that is recognised by the federal government and it is the only one that can organise any athletics event in the country. No other body has the right to stage any athletics event in the country. We are monitoring the situation and we want to assure the athletes that the All Comers in Akure has been designed to meet their requirement.”

Another AFN official said yesterday that the All Comers in Akure would be filled with fun. “We have secured the venue and will provide accommodation for athletes based on last year’s performance. There will be no prize money for this because it is an All-Comers affair. But there will be prize money for the first AFN Classics in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State later this month,’ the official explained.

The Guardian recalled that Olamide George became AFN president following the impeachment of Ibrahim Gusau last month in Abuja.


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