Sunday Dare, minister of youth and sports development has called on the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) committee to unravel the facts, figures and falsehoods of the lackluster performance of the nation at the just concluded 2019 championship in Doha.
The eight man committee inauguration took place on Monday at the minister’s conference room at Moshood Abiola stadium, Abuja.
Dare said it became imperative to set up the committee as a measure to forestall a re-occurrence of the challenges that resulted during Nigeria’s poor outing at the 2019 World Athletics Championships.
“Your assignment is indeed tasking and very daunting. Nigerians and indeed the sports community are looking forward to your Committee of wise men to unravel the “facts, figures and falsehoods” of the lackluster performance at the Doha,” he said.
“The main challenge to us as a Ministry and as a nation is on mitigating the unpleasant experiences of Doha in order to avoid future reoccurrences.”
The minister reiterated the need to appraise the causes and factors responsible for Nigeria’s abysmal performance at Doha in relation to their performance at the 12th All Africa Games held in Morocco.
Nigeria won just a bronze medal in long jump at the 2019 World Athletics Championship, held in Doha, Qatar between September 26 – October 6, 2019.
“The concern of the Ministry on the performance of the AFN athletes is underscored by the fact that the Team Nigeria of the AFN at the 12th Africa Games held in Morocco in August 16-31, 2019 led the Athletics Medal Table with 23 medals comprising 10 Gold, 7 Silver and 6 Bronze,” he added.
“Kenya occupied the 2nd Position with a total of 20 medals comprising 10 Gold, 7 Silver and 3 Bronze.
“However at the Doha World Athletics Championship, Kenya came 2nd in the overall medal table and 1st Position in Africa with a total of 11 medals while Nigerian achieved a distant 9th Position to Kenya with a win of only a Bronze.
“The countries of Ethiopia, Uganda, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Morocco and Namibia all came above Nigeria in Africa.
“Hence the logical question to ask is, was the performance of our athletes at the 12th AAG, fluke?
The committee’s task also includes the investigation of the remote and immediate factors responsible for the avoidable disqualification of Blessing Okagbare and Divine Oduduru for a no show in their 100m women and men’s race.
The committee, which has just a week to perform its task, is saddled with the responsibility to make recommendations that will ensure improved performance of Nigeria’s athletes at major championships as well as any other recommendations as it deem fit.
The committee has Ken Anugweje as chairman while Umar Bindir, Rotimi Obajimi, Ibrahim Galadima, Dare Esan, Mary Onyali, Falilat Ogunkoya are all members with Maria Wophill as secretary.
The minister had directed the recall of Sunday Adeleye, technical director of the AFN, from the championships on the heels of avoidable massive and unacceptable technical and administrative lapses that embarrassed the nation.
The committee is saddled with the responsibility to:
* Evaluate the factors responsible for the less than impressive performance of Nigeria’s athletes at the recently concluded World Athletics Championship in Doha, Qatar.
* Evaluate the remote and immediate factors responsible for the avoidable disqualification of Blessing Okagbare and Divine Oduduru.
* Evaluate and advise on the response of Sunday Adeleye, the technical director of the AFN, to the query issued to him.
* Establish outstanding claims to athletes and officials from Doha 2019.
* Identify and report on the roles of the IAAF in the hosting of the championship to athletes and officials.
* Make recommendations that would ensure improved performance of Nigeria’s athletes at major championships.
* Make any other recommendations as may be deemed fit.
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