Nigerian athletes participating at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championship in Doha have rejected the recall of the Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Sunday Adeleye.
It will be noted that the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, in a statement on Sunday asked for the recall of Adeleye from the camp of the Team Nigeria at the ongoing IAAF World Athletics Championship.
He further directed that the Ministry will commence an immediate investigation as to what led to the ugly development at Doha while ordering that Adeleye hand over all matters relating to the Championship to the Secretary General and return to the country.
The athletes expressed rude shock that the team leader has been directed to leave camp due to the directive of the minister.
Athletes have been wondering why the minister would recall their top official in the middle of a top competition and expect them to perform to the best of their ability.
The recall happened after the IAAF disqualified and reinstated Nigeria’s top sprinters Divine Oduduru and Blessing Okagbare from the Men and Women 200m events respectively after they didn’t participate in the Men and Women’s 100m events.
“One would have expected Adeleye to finish his duties as team leader at the championship and then a committee is set up to look into the issue and address it accordingly upon the team’s arrival back in the country as this is a clear case of interference,” a source said.
Sources in the team camp, said athletes are demoralized as this would affect the team’s performance during the remaining part of the championship.
An athlete who spoke to our reporter but begged for animosity said: “TD leaving is a big blow to us because he’s been a big source of motivation to us.”
Another athlete said: “Personally I’m down because there are some team discussion we’ve had as regards to our relay and now he’s leaving will cause a dent on our preparation.”
Meanwhile, Adeleye who spoke from Team Nigeria camp in Doha debunked the claims adding that he has not been notified to return home.
“This report is not true, I have not been notified,” he said.