June 22, 2021

AFN debunks report on Team Nigeria to USA

May 10, 2021
Minister of Youth and Sports, Chief Sunday Dare, while addressing Team Nigeria's Relay team before leaving to the United States, at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja, on Monday.

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has described as total fabrication the report in a national daily newspaper that the purported dropping of some coaches from Team Nigeria’s trip to the United States to secure qualifications for the relay events of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is unsettling some athletes.

“The report is untrue and a calculated attempt to distract the team from achieving the goal of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics relay events and achieving podium appearances at the Games proper,” said AFN’s scribe, Prince Niyi Beyioku in a statement at the weekend. AFN urged journalists to always cross-check with the Federation before going to the press on issues that require clarifications.

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“It is the prerogative of the Federation to pick the team (coaches and athletes) to any competition based on pre-championship or Games rules set by the Federation. The USA trip does not qualify as a championship or Games where elite athletes require the presence of their personal coaches. The objective of going to USA is to secure qualifications for the relay teams and it requires coaches who have had the experience of taking our team for relay training and qualification.”

The statement made available to Tribunesport stated that “AFN has picked coaches who have had the experience of taking Nigeria relay teams to international competitions like the Olympics and the World Championship. We also have in the team a young coach, Deji Aliu who was in Team Nigeria men’s 4x100m relay quartet that won a bronze medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004.”

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