No room for ‘lazy’ athletes, coaches in Edo Sports Commission, says Yusuf Alli
• 513 sacked staff protest in Benin
Chairman of Edo State Sports Commission, former jumper, Yusuf Alli, has assured ‘hard working’ members of staff of the commission that their jobs are safe.
Alli spoke, yesterday, just as about 513 staff of the Commission took to the streets of Benin City in protest over alleged sack by the Edo State government. Among the affected workers were programmed athletes, organising secretaries and coaches.
Alli, who ruled African athletics, particularly the long jump for over a decade, told The Guardian that some of the issues that triggered the protest had been nipped in the bud. “I just addressed them now on the need to make Edo Sports Commission more productive. A situation where some of our people will sit at home from the beginning of the month till the end, but collect a salary from the state government, won’t work. We won’t condone it. Some of our staff have relocated abroad, yet they continue to collect a salary from the Sports Commission.
“Those who are productive don’t need to panic because their job is secured. Some of the athletes and officials saw reason with us (government) on the need to stop redundancy in the Sports Commission. The government needs results, and the only way to get results in sports is for the athletes, coaches and organising secretaries to take their job seriously. We have agreed to meet again tomorrow morning (today) to find a way around it,” Alli stated.
The protesting athletes and their officials blocked all major roads leading to the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, including the Akenzua Road, Stadium Road, and the Ekenwan Link Road for several hours yesterday.
The Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium will host the FIFA U-20 Women World Cup qualifier between Falconets and their Senegalese counterparts on Saturday.
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