After initial fears of rejection by athletes, over 900 athletes have registered for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria National Trials scheduled for the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt March 29 and 30, The PUNCH has learnt.
Technical Director of the AFN, Sunday Adeleye, confirmed this to our correspondent on Thursday.
“As at now we have enteries of over 913 and still counting,” Adeleye told The PUNCH.
The trials serve as qualifiers for the World Athletics U-20 Championships (Nairobi), World Athletics Relays (Poland), 22nd CAA African Senior Athletics Championships (Algiers) and CAA Region II Championships, Kaduna.
The AFN in a statement on Wednesday said plans were in place for successful trials.
“It is important to inform all intending participants that all NCDC/PTF and sports COVID-19 protocols will be strictly adhered to. These include social/physical distancing, effective use of facemasks at the appropriate times and places, regular washing of hands with soap under running water and/or use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers, etc.
“Please note that any participant who fails to comply with any of the COVID-19 protocols will not be admitted in the accommodation facility and will also not be permitted to participate in the trials,” the statement read in part.
The AFN and the supervisory sports ministry had been at loggerheads after a faction led by Olamide George, the federation’s vice president, suspended Gusau, who then declared autonomy from the sports ministry in December 2019.
Gusau dragged the sports ministry to the Federal High Court in Abuja, with the court ruling July 1, 2020 that he remained the AFN president.