Non-payment of allowances: Athletes threaten to boycott Edo 2020

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Shock and disbelief, that is how athletics enthusiasts have reacted to subtle protests by athletes over non-payment of their National Sports Festival allowances by various states. Athletes from Rivers and Lagos States and the Federal Capital Territory amongst others have been airing their grievances over monies owed them by their states from previous NSFs.

And as the Edo 2020 festival beckons, there are signs some of the concerned athletes are prepared to hold their State officials by the jugular to produce their entitlements.

On Friday, Lagos State athletes took to the street to protest the nonpayment of their allowances and they have threatened to boycott the Edo 2020 event.

“Every athlete in Nigeria has a story to tell,” 400m hurdler, Henry Okorie lamented, stressing, “FCT is yet to pay us for EKO 2012 NSF. “Rivers state avoided signing any contract with anyone prior to Abuja 2018 NSF. Nobody has actionable evidence of what is accrued to any contingent.

They play us because of the legal loopholes in our system. “But what is actually the problem? What do you expect from the sports sector without a workable sports policy? Our federation (Athletics Federation of Nigeria) is alive today because Mr Sunday Dare(the sports minister) is accessible, when he is out, what next? Also speaking, decathlete Peter Moreno warned that it was about time Nigerian sports officials put a stop to this practice of denying athletes their dues even as they have received funds from their respective governments.

“Athletes will be working and not getting paid. Is it some kind of scam system are we having? “ How are we now sure that we will even get paid for this festival. Now that Lagos and Rivers have not paid their athletes from last year, other states might copy them. This is becoming a big shame and embarrassment. Our sports leaders should step up and take control.” Vanguard

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