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Sports ministry battles with ‘over- bloated’ contingent for African games


• Wants List Of Athletes Submitted Within 24 Hours
• Morocco To Close Entry Today

Officials in the Ministry of Youths and Sports are said to be having sleepless nights following alleged ‘overbloated’ list of contingent for the 2019 African Games holding in Morocco.

Team Nigeria is expected to depart for Rabat on August 16 for the Games scheduled to hold between August 19 and 31. The Guardian learnt yesterday that the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Olusade Adesola is having ‘serious headache’ on how to accommodate the ‘long list’ of athletes, officials and other guests waiting on his table.

An official of the sports ministry told The Guardian yesterday that apart from the long list of people, Adesola is also facing serious issue of ‘poor’ funding for the Games.

“As we speak, the sports ministry is having serious issues on how to accommodate the long list of people on the contingent. There is no money, and the only option left for us is to cut down on the list. We don’t have a sports minister yet, and our Permanent Secretary wants to use the African Games to make a name for himself. He has been appealing to chairmen of the various sports federations to present only athletes who are capable of winning medals for Nigeria at the Games.

“We have given all the sports federations, including the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) up till 11.00 a.m. tomorrow (today) to submit their list of athletes. The Perm Sec has not hidden his displeasure over this delay because he wanted the list submitted long before now. The host country, Morocco, will close its entry by 1.00 p.m. on Saturday (today), and we don’t want to have issues with them,” the official stated.

Team Nigeria is hoping to present a total of 17 sports in Morocco 2019 African Games, including athletics, aquatic, badminton, boxing, canoeing, cycling, chess, gymnastics, judo, karate, rowing, shooting and table tennis.Meanwhile, AFN’s trials for the African Games will end today in Kaduna. All foreign-based athletes allegedly stayed away from the trials in protest over unpaid allowances.


In this article:
Olusade Adesola
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