Nigeria boxers out of Olympic qualifier in Senegal over lack of fund

Nigeria Olympic journey to Tokyo 2020 suffered a huge setback Tuesday when boxers were asked to go home to what the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports lack of funds.

As at the time of going to press, the boxers refused to leave their hotel where they were camped at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos insisting that they must attend the qualifier in Senegal.

Interestingly, boxing fetched Nigeria the first Olympic medal in history in the same Japanese capital, Tokyo through Najeem Maiyegun in 1964 who won bronze medal in that year’s Games.

Some of the boxers who were asked to leave the camp include US-based Raphael Akpejori, Aliu Ibrahim, Osoba Abdulazeez, Aisat Oriyomi, Edith Agu and Shittu Afolabi.

Some of the boxers who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to do so revealed that all the boxers were responsible for their upkeep in the camp during the seven days they spent in the trail camping.

“We were invited to Lagos for the camping without arrangement for us by the Sports Ministry and Nigeria Boxing Federation. We took care of our feeding even though we were supposed to be on national assignment. They treated us with disdain. They could not have done what they did to us to any football team on national duty. I must confess I am not proud to be a Nigerian,” he said..

Another boxer lamented that the whole camping was a disaster from the beginning to the end. He revealed that one of the boxers, Franklin Arinze almost died during the trail because there was no first aid to attend to him when he was knockout. Arinze, according to him, is still in a Lagos hospital recuperating.

Former Chief of Army Staff, General Kenneth Minimah is the president of Nigeria Boxing Federation.

P.M. EXPRESS reports that Nigerian boxing has a very rich history in the Olympics. The country picked silver at the Los Angeles 1984 and won two silver medals at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. Unfortunately, the new administration has failed to maintain that.


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