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AFN calls for early preparation for World Championship, African Games

In a bid to give athletes the chance to compete in several meets across the country, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has decided to give the go-ahead to individuals and corporate bodies to stage tournaments.

Blessing Okagbare

According to the technical director of AFN, Sunday Adeleye, it becomes necessary to have more meets for athletes as the federation has more tournaments to feature in this year.

“As a federation we want our athletes to be busy competing and this will surely put them in good shape for major competitions. We have also decided to license individuals and corporate bodies to organize meets across the country and the athletes will then decide the ones they will compete in. for us as a federation, we will give them the license free this year and in subsequent year, we can now be thinking of asking them to pay for the license. This is another way of privatizing the sport and making it a profitable venture which is what obtains globally,”
Adeleye told Sportinglife.ng.

The AFN top brass also said that efforts are on to encourage coaches across the country to organize competitions for their athletes in readiness for the 2019 World Championship and African Games. “We know that organising local tournaments would surely help our athletes to be in top form and to be able to meet up the required
time for major competitions and we are also going to encourage the coaches to stage tournaments among their athletes as a form of preparation for the Worlds and African Games,” he added.

He however expressed optimism on the athletes for the African Games, saying, “From what we witnessed at the last National Sports Festival in Abuja, it is now clear that we have talents that compete at global stages particularly as new athletes are now coming through. This is a good development and we hope to capitalize on this and encourage upcoming athletes,” he explained.

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