The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has described as ‘mere fabrication’ a report that athletes who participated at the just concluded All Comers event in Port Harcourt were accommodated in a mosquito-infested hotel. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI.
Mercy Obong runs season’s best in 100m
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has described as ‘mere fabrication’ a report that athletes who participated at the just concluded All Comers event in Port Harcourt were accommodated in a mosquito-infested hotel.
An online report suggested that athletes from different parts of the country, who attended AFN’s first official event of the year at the High Performance Centre, Port Harcourt, on Wednesday, were badly treated by the federation. According to the report, majority of the athletes were accommodated in mosquito-infested hotels in the Garden City.
But a board member of the AFN, Professor Ken Anugweje told The Guardian yesterday that there was no iota of truth in the story. “Anybody suggesting that we accommodated the athletes in a mosquito-infested hotel should be regarded as an enemy of Nigerian sports.
“We put so many things into consideration because some of the states sent their athletes to the All Comers event without giving them money due to the biting economic situation in the country. What we did was to accommodate the athletes in the Swimming Pool hostel of the University of Port Harcourt, while the coaches and other officials were accommodated at the High Performance hostel.
“The university gave the facilities free of charge to the visiting athletes and officials. Ordinarily, at a subsidized rate, we charge between N1,500 and N2,000 per night for a room in the Swimming Pool hostel, and about N5,000 for a room that can accommodate four athletes in the High Performance hostel. They are good facilities any day, and I was shocked to hear that we accommodated the athletes in mosquito-infested hostels.
“The man behind this wicked rumour did not even attend the event on Wednesday. He is only looking for a way to paint us in bad light and at the same time cause unnecessary crisis between the athletes and the board members,” Anugweje stated.
He stated that the All Comers event was attended by athletes from many states of the federation, adding, “It is from the All Comers event that athletes will be invited for the Golden Leagues, which will also enable the AFN pick athletes for the All Nigerian Open Championship ahead of the IAAF World Athletics Championship in London later this year.”
Meanwhile, Mercy Obong ran a Season’s Best (SB) time of 11.70s to win the women’s 100m race at the event, Rashidat Lawal placed second (11.81s), while Blessing Adiakherewa’s time of 12.00s gave her the third position.