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Anger and shock as African athletes sleep in Nigeria airports ahead of tournament

August 01, 2018 at 02:51 am | News

Nduta Waweru

Nduta Waweru | Contributor

August 01, 2018 at 02:51 am | News

Photo: Twitter

Athletes participating in the Africa Senior Athletic Championship were left stranded at Murtala Muhammad Airport and at Asaba airport, 500km south of the capital, Abuja.

The African teams of at least 200 members were unable to travel to and from the airports since the Asaba airport is unlit and no flights can leave or land at night.

There had been doubts about the readiness of Asaba to host the event after it was given the rights in November 2017, but they were cleared when the President of  Africa Athletics Council  Kalkaba Malboum visited the area.

Photo: Facebook

“When I came here I couldn’t believe Asaba could host this event. When I visited this stadium last year, I didn’t believe this stadium would host the tournament this year. I am very happy and proud of what has been achieved,” he added.

However, not so many athletes and officials share his sentiments.

Algerian team coach, Benid Amar said, “I have participated in a lot of Africa championships, but this championship has poor organisation.”

John Matiani, South Africa’s team manager placed the blame on the local organising committee.

“We spent two days in Lagos and we arrived on 28 July. We don’t have our passports and we still don’t know where our passports are.”

There has been no official statement from organisers of the event.

Photo: Facebook

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