Enugu athletes, coaches unsure of NSF participation, less than 24 hours to opening ceremony

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Enugu State coaches and athletes were still unsure whether or not they would be travelling to Abuja to participate in the 19th National Sports Festival (NSF), an official said on Wednesday.

The Chairman of Enugu State Coaches Association, Ephraim Ochoma, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu that there were no signs the state sports authorities were prepared for them.

“The coaches and their athletes are in the dark over their travelling and participation in the Festival, with just about two days to the competition.

“As it stands now, we have no equipment such as training and playing shoes, track wears and others,’’ he said after the coaches’ meeting at the mail bowl of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu.

Ochoma said the athletes were ready to go for the Festival, in spite of the fact that there was no camping programme for the athletes.

“Though we were told that the state government has signed the papers for the fund two days ago, but we are not aware if the fund has been released.

“But we cannot go without our allowances being paid to us, because this is a competition of 10 days and there is no way we can leave our families without some money to hold on to.

“How can we go to a tournament without allowance and they have not addressed us to know what we are going to benefit at the tournament?’’ he said.

The coach said some of the athletes were married and needed to give sum amount of money to the people they were leaving behind in their respective homes.

“The bone of contention is that the people organising the trip have not even seen us, for us to know where we stand,’’ Ochoma said.

However, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Enugu State Ministry of Youths and Sports, Dan Onwuegbuna, said the state’s athletes should be appreciative of government’s gesture of releasing funds.

He said while the funds for the festival were released on Tuesday the state contingent would be leaving on Thursday for the festival.

Speaking on the allowances for the coaches and athletes, the PRO said they should know where to lodge their complaints.

“If they want to iron out issues regarding their allowances at the festival, they should go and meet the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary,’’ Onwuegbuna said. (NAN)

– Dec. 5, 2018 @ 18:35 GMT |

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