Nigerian Athletics is beleaguered with crisis – has always been – but the rot is reaching new heights according to former National champion and African 100m record holder, Olusoji Fasuba.
Fasuba, who is currently enlisted in the Royal British Navy, knocked the Federation for its poor handling of Athletes’ welfare; a blight that has festered over the years he suggests.
In a telephone interview with Babafemi Raji on Brila FM’s Sports Machine, the former Sprinter accused the current board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria; the sports governing body in the country, of adopting a “Military styled” approach to administration, but to the detriment of the sport.
‘The conditions of athletes has gotten worse since my days and now they [Athletes] are bringing the matter to the fore. Nothing is working and the Federation seems contended with doing things the same way.
‘Welfare has always been the issue. It is true the Federation sends letters to Athletes disclaiming it will take care of certain important matters like Air Ticket fee, but who in their right minds sends such a letter. Your top Athletes should get some attention at least.
‘I don’t think the Federation has any credibility at this moment. So, to cover up for lapses they have adopted a draconian, military approach to administration,’ Fasuba said.
Despite the challenges laid bare, he however believes the problems plaguing the Athletics body could be easily resolved and suggested reaching out to Athletes to drive policies.
‘There is a communication gap and that is what a lot of the problem comes down to. So, I feel our Athletes need a strong voice and representative they can trust to speak on their behalf and importantly, the Federation must ensure they bridge the widening gap, and dialogue with the Athletes.’