We’ve not recognised any AFN faction – WA

We've not recognised any AFN faction – WA - Punch Newspapers

World Athletics, the global body of athletics, says it is yet to confirm any of the recently elected factions of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, adding that it has denied both factions access to the official email of the federation.

WA Head of Communications, Nicole Jeffery, in an email sent to our correspondent, said the access to the email was revoked after the federation’s parallel elections.

“I can confirm that no-one in Nigeria currently has access to that email box.

“It is World Athletics’ standard practice to revoke all access at the time of a Member Federation election, until the new office-bearers are confirmed. In the case of Nigeria, we are still verifying the information we have received about the two elections,” WA said in the email.

The AFN had been in crisis since 2019 after the Gusau-led board of the AFN declared autonomy from the sports ministry at a congress in Awka, Anambra State. This resulted in the suspension of Gusau and his supporters by other members of the board, led by then AFN vice president Olamide George.

Gusau was eventually impeached and George made the acting president. He however approached the court to quash his suspension and impeachment, and won at the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal.

The sports ministry, however, failed to recognise him as the AFN president.

In a bid to resolve the crisis, the WA and the Confederation of African Athletics sent a representative to Nigeria to meet with the sports ministry and both factions in April, where they were mandated to hold an election latest June 14.

The issue was however not resolved, as both factions held their elections in Kebbi and Abuja respectively, with Gusau and Tonobok Okowa returned as presidents.

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