Ekiti State athletes have described the dissolution of sporting associations in the state as ill-advised, ill-timed and injurious to sports development.

The athletes stated this while protesting the decision of the state Sports Council to sack the associations.

The protesting athletes, who displayed various placards to show their grievances, limited their activities to the premises and gate of the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado Ekiti.

They were of the opinion that the dissolution of the sporting associations was done to prevent the chairman of the State Athletics Association from contesting for position on the board of Athletics Federation of Nigeria.

Spokeperson for the athletes, Yusuf Ismaila told newsmen that the Chairman, Athletics Association has done enough to earn a place on the board of AFN.

Yusuf said the Ekiti Athletics Chairman has been in the forefront in the development of sports in the state for many years, as he has single-handedly sponsored Ekiti athletes to many national and international competitions.

The protesting athletes were particularly miffed that similar occurrence played out in 2013 and 2017 during elections into the boards of AFN, when the same man was prevented and schemed out of the running for position on the board.

Addressing the athletes, Acting Chairman of the State Sports Council, Mrs Olusola Osetoba explained that the dissolution was not done to spite anyone, but to ensure development of sports in the state.

Mrs Osetoba said apart from two of the associations, others have not been visible since they were inaugurated about two years ago and particularly in the last two and half months since she assumed office as Acting Chairman of the State Sports Council.

The Sports Council boss thereafter went into a close-door meeting with the athletes to deliberate on the way forward.

It was at the meeting the athletes demanded that the Athletics Association Chairman should be given necessary support to contest the zonal elections of AFN, preparatory to the national elective congress, billed for the 14th of June, 2021.

It however remained to be seen if necessary papers and efforts would be made available for the Ekiti Athletics Association Chairman to beat the deadline set for candidates wishing to contest zonal elections of the AFN.


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