The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has faulted the outburst by sprinter Ezinne Abba over her exclusion from the team selected to represent the country at the 2022 World Athletics Championships holding in Oregon, USA which begins this Friday but was silent on Akintola Alabi’s claim.
Both athletes on Wednesday, raised some dust over the manner they were eliminated from the contingent to one of the biggest event in Aorld Athletics calendar citing incompetence and “politics” in the selection procedure highly influenced by the AFN and the Sports Minister Sunday Dare.
But in a statement, the AFN described Abba’s Instagram outburst an unfortunate.
“The Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, has described as unfortunate Ezinne Abba’s outburst, blaming the Federation and the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Chief Sunday Dare for her inability to make Team Nigeria’s list to the World Athletics Championships which start on Friday in Oregon, USA.”
The AFN Secretary General, Adeniyi Beyioku who was quoted in the release said “Abba should know she can not force herself into the team after failing to compete in any individual event at the Nigerian Championships in Benin City last month.”
AFN President Tonobok Okowa
‘Miss Abba did not compete in any individual event at the Nigerian Championships in Benin City which was used as selection trials for both the World Athletics Championships and the Commonwealth Games. This means her selection will no longer be on merit but at the discretion of the AFN.”
Beyioku, according to the statement further said “athletes who did not come for the trials or did not compete for whatever reason should know they no longer have automatic tickets to compete either at the World Athletics Championships or the Commonwealth Games.”
He further clarified that ‘Miss Abba has not also completed the mandatory three out of competition tests for the championships as she was not under the radar of the Nigerian anti-doping agency until recently when her change of allegiance from the United States of America to Nigeria was granted by World Athletics’.
‘The AFN is appalled that Miss Abba has dragged the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Chief Sunday Dare into a matter that is 100% at the discretion of the AFN.
The Sports Ministry does not interfere in the running of the Federation.’
Beyioku says the Federation will refer Miss Abba’s unguarded outbursts to its Disciplinary Committee for necessary action.
‘She should have known her selection is not automatic and must explain why she chose to publicly drag the name of the AFN and the Sports Minister in an inappropriate manner.’
Beyioku says representing Nigeria is subject to meeting laid down rules and regulations. The AFN will not condone any misguided outburst from any athlete.