IAAF blacklists AFN
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Friday, 24 September 2010
THE Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has been suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), following the inability of the Solomon Ogba-led board to pay athletes who participated in the Abuja leg of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Super Grand Prix, held last July at the National Stadium, Abuja, as well as the international marathon organised by the Rivers State government also last year.
Agents of many of the foreign-based athletes who participated in the one day invitational meet had bombarded the IAAF with complaints when the AFN turned deaf ears to their pleas that they should pay their athletes.
Efforts by the IAAF and the CAA to ensure the AFN redeemed the pledge fell on deaf ears and some of the athletes resorted to maligning Nigeria on facebook as a country of cheats and fraudsters.
Apparently accused of not protecting the athletes, the IAAF, it was gathered held a meeting last week and resolved to sanction Nigeria with a suspension from all its organised events. This, by extension also affects events organised by the continental federation, the CAA.
It was also gathered from Monaco, the headquarters of the IAAF that some events due to hold in Nigeria in the last quarter of this year has been put on hold, until the AFN pays the athletes it has been owing for over 13 months now.
It will be recalled that the federation also owed former African triple jump record holder, Rose Collins a staggering N22m to stage the event which has earned Nigeria a suspension.
Efforts to get AFN president, Solomon Ogba to comment on the sanction were not successful while the federation’s secretary-general, Mrs Maria Worphil failed to confirm or deny the suspension.
A source at the AFN however, revealed that chief Ogba has paid the prize monies owed the athletes and that it is the over $60,000 owed by Rivers State government that has landed the federation in this mess.