Team Nigeria, which had been bedevilled by one bad news after another in Tokyo, now has something to smile about.
On Friday morning, some of the athletes publicly displayed their anger against the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and by extension the Ministry of Youths and Sports.
But there was some good news in the evening when Team Nigeria captain, Aruna Quadri, wrote on his Instagram page that there has been a cordial meeting between the athletes and the administrators
“I have just had a fruitful meeting with the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare based on my position as General Team Captain to resolve the issues surrounding the training grants of Nigerian athletes based overseas.
“The meeting initiated by the Minister has allayed our fears and was very reassuring. The athletes are now relaxed with the assurances and action taken by the Honourable Minister. We will do our utmost best to make our dear country proud in the Games.”
With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics almost at the halfway point, Team Nigeria is yet to get on the medals’ table and their chances grew even slimmer on Wednesday when it was revealed that 10 Nigerian athletes had been disqualified from participating because they did not meet the three out of competition testing that was needed to qualify the athletes to participate.
The Sports Ministry had said the “10 athletes are principally alternate and foreign student athletes, whose tests did not meet with WADA sample collection and analysis standards,” but the athletes, however, showed their anger publicly denouncing the submission of the Ministry, asking them to take responsibility.
Nigeria still has a chance to take medals in the track and field events.