IAAF strikes off Nigeria under-17 athletes from World Youth Championships

All hopes of Nigerian athletes participating in the world youth championships in Cali, Colombia crashed yesterday as the world ruling body deleted the country’s name from the meet meant for under-17 athletes.

The Championships begin today in the south western Colombian City and will end on July 19. The athletes and their coaches were denied Contract visas by the Brazilian embassy in Lagos. The Brazilians claimed that the Nigerian athletics aspirants did not have Colombian visas, a claim that was refuted by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria. Consequently, the IAAF gave Nigerian officials up till yesterday Tuesday to show up or forget the 2015 championships.

The eight selected athletes were sent home by the AFN yesterday and it was tears and regrets by the youngsters and their parents.
“That was four weeks of hard work in training gone down the drain. The athletes are depressed. They left their schooling and came to camp and now they are going home frustrated,” said one of the coaches who was with the team.

“Their parents are not happy with the developed. They called us to voiced their feelings and some of them have threatened to cut their kids’ participation in athletics so that they can concentrate on their education.”
Credit: Ben Efe/Vanguard