Tuesday, May 17

World Relays: Nigeria Pulls Out As Polish Embassy Deny Athletes Visa

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Frankie Omokhua

Nigeria has pulled out of the World Athletics Relays scheduled to run from May 1-2, 2021, in Poland.

This development came up after Nigerian athletes were denied visas by the US embassy.

Factional president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Ibrahim Shehu-Gusau, made this known in a statement released on Thursday, April 29, while accusing the sports ministry of derailing the country’ chances of participating.

“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 US 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,” the statement reads.

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