Nigerian Athletes Decry Poor Standards Among the Factors Limiting their Productivity.

The below- par performance oftentimes the characteristics of Nigerian athletes in World Championships and in Olympic games has not helped the nation, with young talents having to end their dreams before they had the opportunity to have one.
Nigerian athletes decry the standards set for them by the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) claiming it limits their chances of developing and earning an honest livelihood in a career part that is in quagmire in a population of over 260 million people. They staged a protest in Benin (Edo State) on Saturday to make their feelings known publically, hoping that AFN would lower the standards for them.
The protest did not go down well with AFN who had acted promptly by suspending three athletes for instigating the boycott. Those three athletes would no longer compete in their events for the next three years.
The athletes are: Sayeed Osanyande, Afeez Imama and Lekan Soetan.
Let’s put the 100m in context, an event which top athletes all over the world run in sub- 10 seconds. But AFN set 10.49 seconds as the standard and our athletes are not finding it easy to cope with the competition all over the world.
According to AFN, the three athletes were suspended because they had instigated the boycott of the 2nd Golden League championship staged at the University of Benin Sport Complex at the weekend. Those athletes were further suspended from taking part in the money- spinning championship.
Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, the Technical Director of AFN told reporters in Lagos that the athletes’ behavior was ‘unruly.’Nesiama
“The three athletes that instigated the boycott of the event have been suspended from participating in AFN- organized activities for three years,” he said.
Nesiama also noted that the suspension was the last result because the athletes were demanding for a downwards review of the standard of the competition, so as to allow the top eight in each Golden League event to be awarded prizes.
“This is totally unacceptable to the federation,” he said.
Nesiama intimated that the Board is currently interested in channeling available funds into its developmental programmes towards promoting the youths and the juniors.
“Rather than spend money on unruly athletes like these, we will rather develop our youths and junior athletes because they have a brighter future.
“I will prefer that we spend money on our developmental programmes, rather than spend money on athletes that want to remain as local champions,” Nesiama said.
He further reiterated AFN’s resolve against indiscipline, saying none of the athletes was forced into signing up for the Golden League championship.
“The demand is an indication that they are not serious and probably do not have national interest at heart but just personal interest.
“We have chosen to do something different from what we were doing in the past, in order to get better results,” he said.
“The unruly athletes do not know what it takes to put together a Meet of that magnitude, in terms of raising finances and other ancillary structures,” he said.
“There is nowhere in the world that athletes dictate to Meet organizers the conditions on which the Meet should be run,” he concluded.


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