Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Badminton Official Warns Against Rule Violations At Sports Festival

The Secretary of Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN), Amechi Akawo yesterday warned players against the use of banned substances during the 18th National Sports Festival (NSF).

He also noted that engaging in any form of incriminating acts would attract sanctions from the federation, in line with international regulations.

The festival will hold for 14 days, from Nov. 27 to Dec. 9 in Lagos.

Akawo said in an interview that any player found to have cheated through the use of illegal substances would be penalised, in accordance with the rules of the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

"If for any reason, a player wins a laurel illegally, such player would either be banned from participating at the next NSF or have the medal withdrawn and awarded to his opponent.

"We will practise what is obtainable at the Olympics and the BWF because the festival is our own Olympics. We will not tolerate any form of misconduct," he warned.

The secretary, then, advised athletes to adhere strictly to the rules, saying winning at all costs could tarnish the image of the athlete and the state.

"When we see a potential talent, the BFN would gladly manage such player but if you win through an unfair means, such a player has disgraced himself and his or her state," Akawo said. (NAN)

He said the BFN already had developmental plans to harness talents discovered from the festival and move them into the junior national team, to be formed after the festival.

"It will be the beginning of change for the athletes' careers because we are looking for young talents for future world junior competitions.

"We want to form a strong younger team that can replace the likes of Ifraimu Jinkam and Enejo Abah, but they need to start from somewhere and the festival will help them," he said.

The BWF was founded in 1934 as the International Badminton Federation.

NAN

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