Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) officials have cancelled the All Nigeria Athletics Championship taking place in Abuja, following the protest of athletes over the lack of adequate welfare.
The new development was confirmed by the body’s technical director Sunday Adeleye, who said that the decision to cancel the event was reached by the AFN board after an emergency meeting.
In his words, Adeleye said: “The decision we have reached is that the championships is cancelled and we further decided that we are going to select athletes who will represent Nigeria at the All African Senior Athletics Championships.”
The All African Senior Athletes Championships, which started in Abuja on Saturday, was initially expected to be the national trials for athletes hoping to represent Nigeria at the All African Athletics Championship billed for the Delta State capital of Asaba in August.
Earlier on Sunday, the athletes on trial had laid siege on the tracks at the Abuja National Stadium to protest against the lack of good welfare condition and failure to redeem outstanding allowances as they demanded for a meeting with the AFN board.
The protesting athletes also criticised their representative on the AFN board over the failure to represent their interests appropriately.
They refused to compete at the event until their grievances are addressed despite efforts to make them do otherwise and this prompted the AFN board emergency meeting which made the decision to cancel the event.
Addressing the issue via NAN, Adeleye stated that the athletes misunderstood what constituted logistical provisions for the event.
In his words, the technical director and the athletes’ representative on the AFN board said: “We call it All Nigeria Championships but we cannot take care of over 600 athletes by ourselves as a federation.”
“How do we put over 600 athletes in hotels? It is called trials, where you come and try to be selected. If you are selected, then we will adequately take care of you.” he added.
The event was supposed to end on Monday.