AFN warns coaches to pick team on merit

PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

• 1,000 junior athletes begin training in Ilaro
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has warned its coaches to set aside sentiment and assemble athletes with medal prospects for the 2019 Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) U-18 (Youth) and U-20 (Junior) Championships scheduled for Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

Over 1000 junior athletes from different parts of the country are expected to hit Ilaro Stadium, Ogun State this morning to battle for tickets to Abidjan. The event in Ilaro will last for four days, while the Ivorian capital will host African youths in April.

Last year, Team Nigeria’s junior team went to Algeria with only 17 athletes, made up of 10 girls and seven boys for the championship, which was strictly for the U-18 athletes, and finished second behind South Africa, who paraded 60 athletes.

The AFN says Team Nigeria will take a bigger and stronger squad to Abidjan next month with the hope of beating the Rainbow nation (South Africa) to the number one position.

Technical Director of AFN, Sunday Adeleye told The Guardian yesterday that they were expecting over 1000 athletes in Ilaro to fight for the available tickets to Abidjan.

“We equally look forward to seeing coaches from the various states on ground. This is the beginning of the athletics season in Nigeria, and our aim is to select only the best athletes who have medal prospect for the trip to Abidjan.

“There will be no room for favoritism. The coaches must work hard to get a place in any national team because the era of some coaches working and others benefiting is gone.”

In this article:
AFNSunday Adeleye
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