Team Nigeria’s much-awaited athletic kits have arrived Brazil, with less than three days to the end of Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
A top official of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) told Vanguard Sports on Thursday that the kits, which arrived Wednesday night, would no longer serve any purpose because “most of the athletes have left after concluding their events. I have never experienced this in my years in sports. Money meant for the Games was held tightly by ministry officials and they were just releasing money piecemeal. We had to buy kits on our own while some athletes competed in their personal kits.”
It would be recalled that Team Nigeria had to resort to their warm-up tracksuits for their appearance at the Opening Ceremony Parade of Nations as the sports ministry claimed the official attire, which was showcased before President Muhammadu Buhari during the hand-over ceremony in Abuja, failed to arrive on time for the ceremony.
Most Nigerians were shocked to see the athletes in their tracksuits at the opening ceremony, against the tradition of wearing the traditional attire for such big sporting event, which apart from competing at the Games; also provides the opportunity of showcasing the culture and tradition of participating countries.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, in defense of the ministry, tweeted with a post that even the South African contingent appeared at the Opening Ceremony in their track suits.
According to one of the athletes, shortly after the opening ceremony in Brazil, they were told to appear in their tracksuits as the official attire was not available for the parade. “May not be the best outfits, but we manage with what we are given,” the athlete revealed.
"We are disappointed and embarrassed. We've been wearing kits from the World Athletics Championship," one athlete, on the condition of anonymity, told the BBC.
Vanguard reported in July that the government had budgeted N600 million for the Olympics.
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