Two weeks after agreeing to host the 22nd edition of the African Athletics Championships in Lagos, Nigeria made a U-turn yesterday, thereby throwing the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) in doubt once again.
Algeria pulled out of hosting the event last month citing COVID-19, but Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, agreed to step in to host the championship in Lagos.
According to the BBC, Nigeria’s authorities intervened yesterday to say the championships cannot be hosted as planned between June 23 and 27 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
This latest decision has left the future of the athletics showpiece in doubt for this year despite Algeria insisting it is still willing to host the event later this year, coronavirus permitting.
The CAA had hoped that with Nigeria hosting the championships, it would give athletes the chance to achieve qualifying standards for the Tokyo Olympics ahead of the June 29 deadline.
However, the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Olamide George, says he had not received official document from any quarter regarding Nigeria’s refusal to host the CAA event.
“I heard the news, but as we speak, I have not received any official document to that effect,” George stated yesterday.
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