By Ben Efe
Nigerian junior athletes’ participation at the IAAF World U-18 Championships billed for July 12-16 in Nairobi, Kenya hangs in the balance as Athletics Federation of Nigeria officials keep searching for clues.
This is coming on the heels of the country missing the African Junior Championships last month in Algeria, and leaving the future of the athletes in doubt. It will be the first time in 20 years Nigeria will fail to present a team in continental athletics contest.
Fears emerged yesterday that the U-18 athletes who have been camped in Abuja for weeks may also suffer a similar fate. An official disclosed that the team was very much in the dark about their departure for the championships in Kenya.
“We have just been training for the championships in Kenya for weeks now. But I can not tell specifically when we are leaving. It is just next week, so we are just waiting in suspense,” said the official.
AFN sectary-general Amechi Akaw said yesterday that the federation cannot put a date on when the athletes will be leaving for Nairobi.
“All I can tell you is that we are working on it. When there is any information we will let you know.”
In the past, the federation found it had to send athletes to competitions outside Nigeria. The former board led by Solomon Ogba sourced for funds, which were later reimbursed for by the Sports ministry.
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