April 16, 2021
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By Olawale Ayeni, Abuja

The embattled president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Engr Ibrahim Shehu Gusau, has said that Nigerians should blame the Federal Ministry Youth and Sports Development for Team Nigeria absence from forthcoming 2021 World Athletics Relays in Silesia, Poland.

The World Athletics (WA) on Wednesday released names of countries that would be burning the track at the events with Nigeria conspicuously missing on the list after it failed to send her entries for the event.

Addressing newsmen in Benin City, AFN boss said Nigerians should hold the Ministry accountable for Team Nigeria’s absence.

He said the federation had earlier planned to hold a National Trials events where athletes that would represent the country at the World Relays, CAA African Athletics Championships, Region II and the World U20 Championships would have been selected, but the trials were cancelled.

He said the Ministry sent letters to states and stakeholders banning them from attending the Trial events.

“The Sports Ministry should be blamed for Team Nigeria’s absence from the list of countries to participate for the event because we wanted to hold a National Trials in March but the Ministry sent letters to states and stakeholders not to honour the invitation leaving us not having athletes to send for entries ahead of the event.

“It so sad that we will not be going for the World Athletics Relays. Some of our athletes have missed a golden opportunity to represent the country and also qualify for the upcoming Olympic Games,” he said.

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The World Relays which is also a qualifying event for Tokyo Olympic Games will come under spotlight from Monday, April 26 to Sunday, May 2, 2021 with 153 teams made up of 1036 athletes.

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