Nigerian track and field coaches and technical officials have vehemently rejected the purported appointment of Sunday Adeleye as the technical director/chairman of the technical sub-committee of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).
The athletics technical officials yesterday rose from a meeting in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital on the sideline of the on-going 2017 National Youth Games to express anger and disbelief at the leadership of the AFN for appointing an unqualified person as the leader of the engine room of the federation.
“It is embarrassing and alarming that our federation can deviate from modern norms and practices in the appointment of somebody to lead and guide all qualified Nigerian coaches and technical officials to announce someone who does not merit the position, someone who lacks the technical know-how and the requisite academic qualification to lead us,” the officials wrote in the communique issued after the meeting.
“Adeleye was appointed as an athletes representative to take charge of the interest of the athletes on the board while we freely elected Brown Ebewele to be our representative and leader on the board,” the communique further read.
The officials also restated their confidence in Ebewele to guide them through as their elected leader.
Meanwhile, President of Nigerian Coaches Association, Gabriel Okon, stressed that the position of a technical committee chairman/technical director is for an individual who has a rich background in coaching and officiating matters.
“Adeleye is neither a coach nor a technical official. Coaches are certified by both the National Institute for Sports in Nigeria and by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) while officiating officials also go through their training before they can be certified by the federation in conjunction with the IAAF. So you want to bring somebody who does not know what coaching entails and has never attempted any officiating course to come and lead us? Tell me, what will he be telling us? It is like telling a primary school pupil to lead a group of students comprising secondary school and university undergraduates,” queried the former Olympian.
Some of the coaches and technical officials at the meeting include; former Nigeria 100m record holder, Seun Ogunkoya who is a coach in the employment of Ondo State, Hulda Nkwocha from Federal Capital Territory, Adamu Musa (Kebbi State), Ochoma Ephraim (Enugu State), Awe Adeniyi (Kwara State) and former Nigeria javelin champion, Pius Bazighe (Bayelsa State).