Nigeria’s Best Talents In Diaspora Won’t Be Abandoned, Says Ogba | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nigeria’s Best Talents In Diaspora Won’t Be Abandoned, Says Ogba

Posted: Jun 4, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Uzor Odigbo  –  Lagos


Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) President Solomon Ogba has declared that the nation’s best athletes abroad would be encouraged to compete for the country despite cynics’ resistance.

Ogba who made this known during a chat recently insisted that there are lots of Nigerian athletics talents abroad seeking for opportunities to come home and compete for the country and he assured that the federation will encouraged them to come.

“I would like to put the record straight, we have come across many talented youths born by Nigeria parents abroad eager to compete for Nigeria. Many of them are out there and as a federation, we can’t turn them down, their parenst are willing to escort home, we weighing the options, but we shall do everything within our strength to bring those that meet our requirements home.”

“We have been accused of not caring for local athletes, which is not true. The AFN has organized three local competitions this year. Even in the midst of serious financial challenges, we took our U-20 athletes to defend their title at the African Junior Championship in Ethiopia, and also our youth athletes to the championship in Mauritius.”

“We want a situation whereby the AFN has a pool of athletes to select from, whenever we are going for competitions. We don’t want one single person to hold us to ransom, as Blessing Okagbare is trying to do.

Those athletes she complained about are Nigerians who are based in America. They have the right to run for their country too,” Ogba said. Okagbare had pointed out that the AFN was not being kind to home based athletes, arguing that the money being paid to the recruited foreign athletes was more than enough to support the local athletes.

Apparently not done with his explanations, Ogba insisted that some of the local athletes especially the men are satisfied with the level and time they are returning as they had refused to improve on their performance.

“Some of the home-based athletes just refused to improve on their individual performances. You would agree with me that nowhere in the world athletes’ return 10.3, 10.4, 10.6 seconds and be included in the team for competitions abroad.

AFN, he said won’t deny an athlete of his or her desire to compete for the country, but the athletes must aspire to meet set standards in order to be included in the team.”