The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) says it is committed to an open, transparent and efficient management of track and field in the new year and beyond.
Acting President of the federation, Honourable Olamide George says the federation has learnt from the mistakes made since the current board was inaugurated and will put all supporting structures in place this year to ensure a proper and sustainable growth for the sport.
“The era of square pegs finding unmerited home in round holes is over. The AFN will be governed by its constitution and international best practice. It was the total disregard for this that made us objects of international ridicule right from the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia in 2018 where we ran foul of an international freeze on change of allegiance to the embarrassment in Doha at the World Championships in the last quarter of last year, when Blessing Okagbare and Divine Oduduru were initially disqualified from the championships just because somebody failed to discharge his responsibility,” said George, a former member of the Ondo State House of Assembly.
“Never again will it happen where Nigeria will be stripped of medals won by her athletes at international championship/games because those saddled with the responsibilities to ensure proper things are done displayed uncommon incompetence. We all saw how Oyesade Olatoye was stripped of her Shot Put gold and Hammer throw bronze medals after the African Games in Rabat when a clear one month or so to her event, the IAAF (now World Athletics) notified the AFN of the girl’s ineligibility. What was painful then was that we still had time to get the Nationality Review Panel of World Athletics to reverse the decision. But like we have noticed time and time again, you cannot give what you don’t have,” George added and says the federation will provide the initiative and support towards talent discovery.