Your policies, politics killed athletics, Urhobo tells Abdullahi

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By Ben Efe

Former national coach, Toni Urhobo has dismissed claims by former Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi that the present board of the AFN was responsible for the decline of the sport.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS - MAY 02: Blessing Okagbare, Regina George, Dominiue Duncan, and Christy Udoh of Nigeria celebrat on the podium after winning the final of the women?s of the 4 x 200 metres on day one of the IAAF World Relays at Thomas Robinson Stadium on May 2, 2015 in Nassau, Bahamas.   Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for IAAF/AFP
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – MAY 02: Blessing Okagbare, Regina George, Dominiue Duncan, and Christy Udoh of Nigeria celebrat on the podium after winning the final of the women?s of the 4 x 200 metres on day one of the IAAF World Relays at Thomas Robinson Stadium on May 2, 2015 in Nassau, Bahamas. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for IAAF/AFP

Abdullahi in response to the poor performances of Nigerian athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, had called for a total overhaul of the athletics federation leadership adding that the president, Solomon Ogba has nothing to offer Nigerian athletics any more.

But Urhobo, who is also a former president of the AFN said Abdullahi was wrong in his assessment of the sport. Urhobo argued that it was policies and politicians who brought Nigerian sports down to its knees. “His assessment was not a true reflection of the situation. This is not an issue of personality, but about results which dates back to 16 years.

“The last time we had good results was in Barcelona ’92 and Atlanta’96 Olympics. So let us judge from there. You might want to ask what are the present administration doing differently?

“You should look at quality of the technical assistants compared to other nations?Available training facilities and funding. These and a few others are questions you should ask, not Ogba. “Too much bad politics and policies. I am not a politician but a pure breed Sports Professional. Bolaji Abdullahi is a politician,” said Urhobo.

“He should go to other countries who are in serious sports business and see what they are doing with their grass-roots sports.”

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