Vanguard (Lagos)

6 December 2012

Nigeria: Eko 2012 Full of Foreigners - Coach

Photo: Kehinde Gbadamosi/Vanguard
The High Jump Games, Miss Esiekpe Young, River State During the 18th National Sports Festival

Anambra State is facing sanctions for fielding a Cameroonian weightlifter, but it has been alleged that there are more foreigners participating illegally in the 18th National Sports Festival, which comes to an end this weekend at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.

Subsequently, the National Sports Commission has been urged to scrutinize the States' delegates, as there are bound to be more revelations.

Athletics coach and former national high jump champion, Johnny Igboka said at the National Stadium that Anambra was not the only State with a foreigner in its team, adding that going across the boarders for help during the National Sports festival, has been a long-standing practice.

"We have so many foreigners participating in this festival. If we have to carry out investigations we will be shocked.

"In the past, our neighboring countries used to come in here and recruit our athletes for their own festivals.

But now the reverse is the case," said the coach.

Checks revealed that in events like traditional wrestling and dambe, some of the States had foreign athletes participating unnoticed.

Anambra state was stripped of the three gold medals won by the Cameroonian athlete and the NSC, promoters of the National Sports Festival, has vowed to punish the State's director of sports and the coach who recruited the athlete.

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