Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Technical Director, Sunday Adeleye has been queried by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to explain his role in the initial disqualification of sprinters Divine Oduduru and Blessing Okagbare following their failure to show up for the 100m event at the ongoing 17th IAAF World Championships in Doha,Qatar.
The athletes” non-appearance after they were duly registered for the race contravened IAAF competition rule 142.4 and they were duly banned from further participation in the championships.
They were however reinstated after an appeal was lodged.Our correspondent gathered that the IAAF considered their pleas that it was revealed Adeleye who was accredited as the technical delegate for Team Nigeria and whose duty is to confirm Nigeria’s entries during the championships was informed about the athletes decision to pull out of the 100m event.
The international disgrace this act of negligence brought upon Nigeria necessitated the Technical Director’s recall by the Sports Minister, Sunday Dare. Upon Adeleye’s arrival in Nigeria and after presenting himself at the Ministry as directed by the Honourable Minister in his recall letter, the former Police Corporal was issued a query last Wednesday and asked to respond within 24 hours.
Our correspondent further gathered that the Sports Minister directed the Permanent Secretary, Olusade Olusola to issue Adeleye the query after which a committee will be constituted to get to the root of the matter and prevent future occurrences. “The Honourable Minister is quiet serious about this because he believes the way this is handled will set the tone for what is expected of all officials in the discharge of their duties,”disclosed a source close to the Minister.
Our correspondent also gathered that the Minister is determined to ensure qualified and competent personnels are deployed in positions for efficiency.
“What happened in Doha has exposed the problems in most of the sporting federations and the Minister,a stickler for excellence wants square pegs to always be in square holes,’ added the source.
Athletics watchers had in 2017 queried the move by AFN president, Ibrahim Gusau to make Adeleye the technical director of the federation, arguing that the position is meant for trained officiating officials and coaches.
‘One of the roles of a technical director is to evaluate performances as well as programmes of coaches registered with the federation. If you are not a trained coach, how do you evaluate performances or programmes drawn up by coaches? It is like elevating a bank clerk to the position of Central Bank Govermor.It is an abnormal and I hope the Honourable Sports Minister can help correct this so that we can see the sport grow,’said Patience Itanyi,a trained coach and former African champion in the Heptathlon who also represented Nigeria at the 2000 Olympics.