AFN Official Denies Bias In Selection Of Commonwealth Team
Olalekan Soetan, a renowned athletics statistician on Monday debunked the accusations that the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Commonwealth Games team list was biased.
Soetan, who was among the selection team, told newsmen that the Sports Ministry gave AFN limited slot, as such only athletes with medal prospects were selected.
“The ministry, which is the sponsor of the Nigerian team to the Games, gave AFN limited slot for athletes, and then we picked the team as regards our medals prospects.
“Our national trial for Commonwealth games was used mainly for team selection.
“Yes, we considered some who could not realistically come home for the trials but with outstanding performance or prospects for excellent performance.
“Let’s not forget that AFN set a standard which very few met, yet we selected athletes based on merits and some on real prospects,” he said.
Soetan dismissed those accusing the AFN of bias as mere mischief makers.
“The few people that are making a scene are mischief makers. For example, a coach,who has never trained his personal athletes to make Nigerian team and pouched some to failure at trials is saying he has jurisdiction,” he said.
The official explained that the likes of Oluwatobiloba Amusan and Blessing Okagbare are tested athletes, unless proved otherwise.
“Amusan and Okagbare are tested athletes, meanwhile, Okagbare is only going to feature in the relay and Tobi is our surest medal prospect in 100m Hurdles.”
AFN had released the names of 37 athletes for the Commonwealth Games scheduled for April 4-15, in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
The athletics event starts from April 8-15.