Athlete protest, age fraud hit National Youth Games

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Success Nwogu, Ilorin Some of the athletes  participating in the 4th National Youth Games which began in Ilorin on Monday have  protested th...

Success Nwogu, Ilorin

Some of the athletes  participating in the 4th National Youth Games which began in Ilorin on Monday have  protested the  alleged poor  accommodation arrangements for them  for the competition.

It was learnt that  the organisers of the Games have been battling to save the situation.

 Thirty-two states  are  taking part in 33 sports  in the 10-day event.

 The athletes who spoke to our correspondent  claimed that they found bedbugs  in their  rooms.

They also claimed that  some of the toilets  were dirty.

One of the athletes from Federal Capital Territory,  who spoke on condition of anonymity,   said, “The accommodation has been very poor. The environment is not okay. We do not like the rooms  they gave us. In our rooms, the beds  have bedbugs,  and  they  are really affecting us. The toilets are not okay. Everywhere is smelling. There are bushes around, so the environment is not okay for us. There are mosquitoes there.”

But the Director, Grassroots Sports Development, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports,   Demola Are,  in an interview with journalists said efforts were being made to address some of the  lapses.

Are said “We are ensuring that all challenges we are facing  are  taken  care  of  so that these children will have a very successful time with us.”

He added, “On bedbugs, the school belongs to a particular organisation, we are just here to use the facilities for some time.

“We are interacting with them to ensure that all these things are in the past. It is a big hostel, challenges are  everywhere.

“The place has been fumigated, and it will take some hours for it to be effective. The officials are working on it and we will get to the root of it.”

Are  said  500 athletes had been disqualified for being above  the NYG  age limit (15 years).

He said, “The screening committee found (overage athletes)   and disqualified 500 athletes who are above 15 years.

“We want to ensure that as much as possible the screening committee will do a thorough job.We do not want to allow states because they want to win medals to present overage athletes.”

However, our correspondent learnt that more than 500 athletes were disqualified on gage grounds.

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