Minister of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung has summoned the Athletics Federation of Nigeria’s Secretary-General, Olumide Bamiduro, and ministry staff of the Federation of Elite Athletes Department (FEAD) to explain the ticket scandal that dominated the social media at the weekend, a sports ministry press statement says.
A mail purportedly written by the AFN secretary Bamiduro had asked athletes to send an estimate of what their ticket to Rio may cost with an assurance that refunds will be given if approved by the ministry for purchase by the athletes.
Upon receiving the letter, some of the athletes started online campaigns to beg for funds, a move which outraged Nigerians.
The Minister had washed his hands of the mail, stating in a release that he had neither instructed anyone to push such information nor even muted such to FEAD.
Dalung had warned through a statement that those who wrote such a letter asking athletes to buy their air tickets to Rio would be investigated and sanctioned accordingly.
” I hereby restate that no athlete has been authorized or asked to buy his or her ticket to the Olympic Games. Whoever wrote the letter did so on his or her own accord without due consultation with the overseer of sports in the country which is the Ministry of Youth and Sports. We are totally committed to the welfare of our athletes and will ensure that they are not psychologically affected by distractions caused by this letter,” Dalung assured.
Meanwhile athletes will start moving to the Games village on August 1, 2016. The Ministry of Youth and Sports is to ensure the smooth movement of athletes abroad to the Games Village in Rio.