Completesportsnigeria.com's SAB OSUJI reports from Brazzaville, Congo, that it's not all rosy for the athletes, officials and journalists, on their various beats, at the 11th All Africa Games. He highlights the top five talking points amongst the participants. Excerpts…
1. 'NEPA' Also Here In Congo!
Initially, we Nigerians were extolling the virtues of the Congolese power generating and distributing efficiency since we arrived Congo Brazzaville on September 1 for the 11th All Africa Games.
Since our arrival in the country populated by 4 million people, light had never shrinked or blinked not to talk of going off. But how wrong we were proved as the 'almight NEPA' struck on Saturday, September 5.
Sad enough, the power outage took place while we were at the COJA Headquarters in Diata and for good 25 minutes, everywhere was 'dead' without any meaningful activity.
2. Poor Media Arrangement
Give it to the government and people of Congo Brazzaville, they have clearly demonstrated that they have what it takes to get the 8th wonder of the earth right in their country.
All the facilities put in place for the 11th All Africa Games are completely brand new structures of first class standard.
But despite the excellent facilities, their organisational ability comes to question when it comes to the very crucial media matters. For instance, there is no media center where information could be effectively gathered. Journalists find it difficult to get information regarding event fixtures, venues and all of that.
Yes, they provided internet fitted ofices for visiting journalists, the arrangement succeeded in separating the pen boys from different countries as opposed to the usual practice.
Martial Ngoka, Congo Brazzaville Secretary of Judo Federation admitted this much as he took it upon himself to forward the events fixtures to some journalists' e-mail addresses.
3. COJA Stops Movement Of Electric Cars
Organisers of the 11th All Africa Games here in Congo Brazzaville have ordered a stop to release of the electronic cars for distant movements.
Initially, the cars which are powered electronically without fuel, took officials from Diata to Kintele or the other way round.
But on the 3rd day of the games, the practice was stopped on the guise that the arrangement was being abused.
"We were told not to take the cars beyond the Kintele area. They said this was because officials who benefit from the cars' services appear to abuse it by holding them far too long than necessary and that there was need for them to be recharged,"one of the drivers disclosed.
The cars are operated by a company known as BlueCongo who are co-sponsors of the 11th All Africa Games.
4. Central Feeding For Athletes And Officials
Unlike previous arrangement where athletes and their officials were fed at the games village, athletes and officials at the on-going 11th All Africa Games tagged Congo Brazzavile 2015, are being fed at one central place.
Apparently because of the closeness of the Games Village to the Kintele Sports Complex, all athletes and their officials come to take their meals at the luxuriously and massively constructed restaurant at the Sports Complex.
They are conveyed by too many luxurious buses to and from the Games Village for their meals.
5. Games Village Without Internet Facilities
Athletes and their officials are complaining aloud here about the apparent 'logged out' life, internet wise, that they are living at the magnificient Games Village.
They complain about lack of internet facilities which has kept them in the dark and ex-communicated with the outside world.
As one coach puts it, "we cannot even call our families back home to tell them we have safely arrived here or better still know how they are faring back home.