Golden League athletes battle AFN over unfulfilled promises

Posted on Mar 21 2018 - 9:38am by admin

Idris Adesina

The athletes who participated in the third Golden League in Abuja  on Friday and Saturday  are unhappy with the  Athletics Federation of Nigeria  over the failure of the AFN to pay them their transport and accommodation  allowances.

Our correspondent learnt that some of the athletes had  to borrow  money to return home after the competition on Saturday as the federation could not fulfil  its  promise to pay them  on arrival in Abuja for  the event.

It was learnt that the athletes had to  take care of  their accommodation and feeding, hoping to  be  paid on Saturday as promised by the federation.

It was also learnt that when the athletes demanded  their allowances from the  AFN technical director Sunday Adeleye, he directed them to the Golden League Committee Chairman Brown  Ebewele, who also said the committee was not in possession of the  money  to pay the athletes.

One of the athletes, who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, claimed some of them were forced to travel  overnight to their destinations  after the competition to  reduce the transportation fares.

He said, “The event was supposed to hold in Ibadan but we were informed on Thursday that the venue had  been changed. Many of the athletes who were supposed to attend could not because of the change of  venue.

“But some of us still made our way to Abuja for the competition. On Saturday, we were expecting to receive the transport subsidy  to return home. But when we contacted the technical director, he said we should meet with the committee chairman who said he didn’t  know anything about our payment.”

Another source said, “Many of us were left stranded. Some travelled by buses  at night because they lacked enough money.”

Adeleye, who spoke with our correspondent on the telephone on Monday, confirmed  that the federation had yet to pay the athletes.

He said, “It is true that the athletes were not paid their transport allowances for the Abuja Golden League but the fault was not from the federation. The Golden League committee is responsible for paying them.

“The committee was set up because  the president  and I have been criticised for not carry the other members along. The committee is expected to look for funds to organise the events. The competitions  held so far this year have been organised from the personal pockets of the president because the AFN has not received any allowances  from the sports ministry.

“Before this event in Abuja, athletes were paid what they were promised for transportation but since the committee was set up for that purpose, the federation expected that they would do their duties.”

Ebewele told our correspondent on the telephone on Monday that paying of the athletes was not the business  of the Golden League committee.

He said, “The committee was charged with organising the Golden Leagues  not the payment of athletes. The federation invited the athletes and should find means to pay them.

“Every competition has a sponsor and in the absence of one, the federation takes charge of the responsibility of paying the athletes.”

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