Mr Paul Bassey
In line with recent decisions to rid the AKS/NNPC/MPN Schools Athletics Championships of cheats, mass disqualifications have hit those that were expected to have qualified for the Eket grand finale scheduled for the second week of December.
At the last count, over 77 students have been disqualified and barred from competing in Eket.
After the zonal finals last month, the organisers decided to embark on a physical check of the athletes name so submitted and this was done at the schools and colleges.
According to the Consultant of the Project, Mr Paul Bassey, “we had to go to all the schools and get the principals and games masters to verify by the use of the School register.
“The result is astonishing as most of the principals were shocked that names of students they had never seen nor known were entered against their schools.
“We are happy that the principals took responsibility by signing off and stamping only on those athletes that are bona-fide students,” Bassey confirmed Monday.
According to Bassey a breakdown of those disqualified has Eket Zone topping the list with 23 athletes, Ikot Abasi 16, Etinan 21, Abak 6, Uyo 5, among others.
Most of those disqualified were from so called “Special examination centres” while others were those who have left school and were said to have “come back to take exams…”
The Consultant said he was happy with the development as this was the beginning of sanity in the system.
“If I have to run the final this year with only 20 students, so be it. Next year, games masters will know better than to field mercenaries and over aged athletes for a grassroots competition that is basically developmental in nature,” he noted.