The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) have once again changed the dates for the Nigeria Track and Field Championships on the eve of the three day event.
The federation had earlier curiously fixed Monday July 9 to Wednesday July 10,2018 for the competition which is meant to select Nigeria’s contingent to the African Athletics Championships which holds between August 1 to August 5 in Asaba,Delta state.
The date may have informed reigning Nigeria’s 100m and 200m record holder,Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor’s decision to confirm her participation in Thursday’s IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne,Switzerland.
Apparently without consultations with stakeholders,the federation changed the dates for the championships to Thursday July 5 to Saturday July 7,2018 with the venue moved from Ozoro in Delta state to the National stadium in Abuja.
The new dates did not go without some casualties as some foreign-based athletes had purchased flight tickets for the earlier dates.
Notable among the athletes was 800m runner,Abike Egbeniyi of Middle Tennesse State University who had hoped she would fly out of Tennessee on Saturday July 7 after finishing her summer classes on Thursday July 5,2018.
While the athletes were still groping with the new dates with a few of them paying to effect the change on the their departure date for the championships,the AFN,labelled Athetics Federation of Neophytes by some stakeholders changed the dates again.
According to a statement from the federation,the new dates for the championships will now be Saturday July 7 to Monday July 9,2018.
This has put some of the athletes who paid as much as $300 to effect the change in their departure date from the first date to the second date in a quandry as they will have to cough out as much as $500 now to effect another change.
Stakeholders have also expressed worries why the federation should deviate from the traditional Thursday to Saturday days to end a competition on Monday, the first day of the working week.
Many of Nigeria’s former internationals have called for the sack of the president of the federation,Honourable Ibrahim Gusau who has seemingly proved to be nothing more than a dilletante in track and field.