Nigeria officially, will not take part in the World Athletics relays billed to start from May 1 -2, 2021 in Poland.
The President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria Engr. Ibrahim Shehu-Gusau said Nigeria will not participate in the World Relays because the Ministry of Youth and Sports opted to take the athletes to a training tour in the United States for the same relays they are yet to qualify for, instead of a pre- Olympic Games qualification in Poland.
“The information at our disposal is that athletes who were supposed to represent Nigeria at the World Athletics Relays in Silesia, Poland were taken to the USA Embassy to obtain visas for a training tour of an event they were yet to qualify for.
“The scheduled relays in Poland were meant to enable Nigeria to secure qualification for the Olympic Games in Tokyo but to our disbelief, the athletes’ passports were diverted to the USA Embassy to secure visas for a training camp for an event they are yet to qualify for. How can a qualification competition in Poland which was our best bet be ignored for a training camp in the USA?
“This is one of the numerous reasons why sports in Nigeria should be allowed to be administered according to international best practices”, Gusau said. It will be recalled that the ministry, through the Main Organizing Committee (MOC) of the National Sports Festival, cancelled a national trial which the Athletics Federation of Nigeria would have used to select all the teams that will represent Nigeria in major competitions.
On April 20 and 21, during a fact-finding visit to Nigeria, the World Athletics and Confederation of African Athletics CAA intervened and allowed Nigeria to make a late entry which was approved by WA but surprisingly, the ministry opted for a *training Tour.*