26 January 2013

Nigeria: Egbunike Has No Contract to Coach Nigeria, Minister Declares

Former African 400m champion, Innocent Egbunike has been down on his knees praying for a revival of Nigerian athletics. On his table he has a plan and he is only waiting for the green light from the Athletics Federation of Nigeria and the National Sports Commission to put his thoughts into play.

But that is not likely to happen, as Sports minister and chairman of the National Sports Commission, Bolaji Abdulahi disclosed that Egbunike has no valid contract with the NSC or the AFN to coach Nigerian athletes. And it seems Egbunike, who still holds the national 400m record for 25 years running, will have to wait until 2016, perhaps he would be called upon to do a rush job just like he did at the last London 2012 Olympics. He was brought in with only four months to the Games and the result was clearly seen on the medals table.

"I haven't seen a contract that says he is the head coach of the AFN," said the minister.

"He came purposely for the London 2012 Olympics and we only helped with his entitlements for that period. However, he did a good job, if there is anyway we can retain him, we will do so," said Mr. Abdullahi in Lagos.

With this development it remained to be seen how the AFN plots the revival of athletics after the non medal performance at the London 2012 Olympics. This is even when 2013 is a world champi-onships year and also elections will be held in April to usher in a new board for the federation.

AFN technical director, Navy Commodore Omatsheye Nesiama volunteered that the federation will meet on the matter and come up with resolutions that will put athletics back on track.

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