Sunday, May 20, 2012

IAAF denies sanctioning AFN Warri Grand prix

AFN President, Solomon Ogba
The world governing body for Athletics, the IAAF, has denied giving Nigeria any permit to organise a Grand Prix and clarified that to the best of her knowledge no athlete is still being owed prize monies of the 2009 Abuja Grand Prix yet some foreign athletes who competed in the meet are yet to earn their sweat value till now.
Gabriel Okon, who said he is the “meet organiser” is one of the assistant coaches deployed by the AFN to the American camp for the Olympics. He sent out the invitation for the 2012 Grand Prix in Warri scheduled for the 14th June, 2012 where he revealed the following events would be competed. In the Men’s category, 100m, 400m, 110m hurdles, 1,500m, 3,000m steeple chase, Long jump, Javelin, 4x100m and 4x400m.
He also revealed the event to be competed for in the women’s category to be 100m, 400m, 100m hurdles, 800m, 400m hurdles, High Jump, 4x100m and 4x400m.
What alsobaffles one is that the e-mail address used to send out this invitation is not the official one of the AFN. It was a personal e-mail thus, raising questions as to why Okon, who is not a staff or the Secretary of the AFN should use a personal mail to conduct official business.
In a response to inquiries made to her by e-mail by this reporter, Mónica Gómez Fernández who is the Manager Permit Meetings of the IAAF’s Competitions Department wrote: “No Meeting in Nigeria has been granted the IAAF permit for this season.”
On the 2009 Grand Prix in Abuja, she explained that it was an Area Permit Meeting. We are aware that nevertheless Pierre Weiss (the retired predecessor of Fernandez) followed up the unpaid cases of those athletes that competed in Abuja’09 and provided us with proof of their economic agreement with the Organisers.”
To our understanding there are no longer any outstanding payments from 2009 however I am copying the Nigerian Federation and the Confédération Africaine d'Athlétisme (CAA) on this email should they have anything else to add.”
The question remains then, where did the prize monies of the athletes whose dues are stilloutstanding hiding? Who is keeping the money since 2009? Nigeria has remained painted black as a nation of crooks by this act.

NFF used police to abduct, detain me - Jalla
*‘List of 10 to be eliminated revealed to me’
Can these be true?
President of the National Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF) Harrison Jalla has explained how the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) organised the use of men of the Nigeria Police to invade his Lagos office to abduct and detain him using a complainant he had never met to frame up allegations against him.
Speaking in a telephone interview fromhis house yesterday, Jalla who had been the arrowhead of opposition to the board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said, “I was in my office when the Policemen arrived. I was abducted and denied any means of communication, taken to away and detained.”
When my arrest was effected, the complainant who I had never had anything to do with neither have I ever met him pulled a call through to Ademola Olajire, the NFF’s Chief Media Officer, detailing how I was arrested. That was the point I realised it was the NFF that organised the latest arrest and charges.
I was detained by the police and denied access to my lawyers or relations. I was however released on Saturday night. The arrest and detention has shown how much new level of desperation the NFF people are bringing into this matter. This is the third time they are using the Police as an instrument of oppression wrongly and unjustly.
Asked what will be his latest reaction to this, he said, “I will respond accordingly in due course. One thing is certain, I an not going to be daunted by all these. You know what? The entire arrest and detention was not incidented by the police meaning it was likely an illegal operation. You will get further details in days”, he promised.
Earlier in the interview, he revealed that, “they had planned to use hitmen to eliminate 10 of us. I am one of the 10. It was that I was battling with that Friday when my office was invaded. The list include some prominent persons who are regarded as disturbing their peace. My sources had told me the list of the people on the elimination scheme. I won’t release the list now. I, however, promise to make the list available to you in a matter of one or two days.”

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