The acting president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Honourable Olamide George says the federation is determined to pay athletes and officials outstanding allowances bizarrely owed by the suspended president, Ibrahim Gusau despite receiving funds for it from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
George, who is the acting president of the AFN following the suspension of Gusau on Tuesday at its board meeting in Abuja revealed that athletes and officials are owed allowances from the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, the World Relays in Yokohama, Japan and the African Youth and Junior Championships in Abidjan.
“Approval and funds were given for these competition and it beats majority of the board members why Gusau failed to either pay in some cases or pay in full,” said George who cited Doha and Abidjan where funds were released for the championships upon requests made without the approval of the board by Gusau.
“Gusau and not the board requested for N59m for Nigeria’s participation at the World Championships in Doha and approval was given for N35m which is about $92,000. He gave the Secretary General $38,000 to pay for the allowances of all 25 athletes and 14 officials that were in Doha. The athletes agreed to collect $100 a day for 13 days amounting to $1,300 each, but were paid $1000 each and the officials also collected the same amount because the $38,000 was inadequate. The athletes and the officials are owed $300 each,” revealed George who informed the development will form part of the issues the investigative panel the federation will set up to probe Gusau.
“We want him to explain to us what he used the balance of $54,000 for as World Athletics (IAAF) was responsible for the travel, accommodation and feeding of all 25 athletes in Doha. World Athletics also paid 55% of accommodation fees for officials meaning the AFN only had to take care of the flight tickets for the officials and 45% of their accommodation,” George further explained.
He also revealed that the young athletes who travelled by road for three days in April to compete at the African youth and junior championships are yet to be paid.
“Former Sports Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung told us in May that N13m was approved for the championships and the money came after the event. Till today, Gusau has not paid the athlete a dollar and the recalled athletes representative, Sunday Adeleye failed to fight for those he was elected to serve their interest on the board,” George said and revealed that Gusau said the money was used to prosecute the IAAF World Relays in Yokohama,Japan in May 2019.
“The World Relays was partly funded by the IAAF who took care,full board two of each of the relay teams Nigeria presented in Yokohama. We are also asking Gusau why he used funds allocated for a particular event for another event. The acting athletes representative is insisting we find money to settle these athletes and that’s what we are determined to do,” added George who appeals to the Sports Ministry to come to their rescue.
“The welfare of the athletes is our priority especially as we begin preparations for the Olympics in Tokyo next year,” he concluded.
Source: Complete Sports