By Michael Effiong
There are strong indications that Nigeria will soon face a ban from the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) over a pending $135,000 that has been pending since 2017.
Indeed from all indications, if Nigeria’s Minister of Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung who had given and reneged on his earlier promise does not pay, it may spell doom for the country.
In a letter dated May 13, 2019 written by the IAAF to the President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) that was exclusively obtained by The Boss, the world athletics body wrote:
“You were informed on 14 March 2018 by our CEO of a payment made by IAAF to the bank account of your federation on 17 May 2017. A sum of $150,000 was transfeered by the IAAF of which $135,000 was wrongly transferred.
“We promptly notified you of this overpayment and followed up with several written correspondences as well as meeting with you in November 2017, requesting that you reverse the bank transfer for the over payment to no avail.
“On 28 June 2018, you informed us that the Ministry of Sports was ready to refund 50% of that amount and despite several telephone conversations, the amount was still not paid.
While we were in Asaba in August 2018 during the African Senior Championships we met with the Minister of Sports and his Permanent Secretary. We discussed about the return of the funds to the IAAF and until today, we have not heard anything.
We understand that the Minister of Sports will be stepping downsoon and it is important for you to arrange for the return of the full amount within two weeks at the latest. Failure to receive the funds back within the period, we will have no alternative than to apply appropriate sanctions against your federation.
The letter signed by Jee Isram Senior Manager, Governance, Member & International Relations was dispatched from Yokohama Japan, where the IAAF is hold a relay tournament, the AFN is yet to react as key officials are on the flight back from the tournament.