Nigeria’s exhibit of disgrace in Tokyo Olympics

Nigeria’s exhibit of disgrace in Tokyo Olympics


DO now not be deluded by means of the legit hype that Team Nigeria “performed well” at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games through prevailing a couple of gongs; the effect had a shamefully acquainted ending. In between Ese Brume’s bronze in the lengthy soar and Blessing Oborududu’s silver in wrestling, Team Nigeria grew to become out jaded performances at the Games, which opened on July 23 in the Japanese capital and closed on August 8.

Technically, Nigeria bettered its overall performance in Rio 2016, ending a joint 74th (with Jordan and Malaysia) in the medals’ table. In Rio, Nigeria secured simply a bronze medal, however a silver medal addition can’t appease the large disappointment. That silver medal – Nigeria’s first in wrestling – did now not burnish Nigeria’s abject failure on sports’ largest stage. In all its supposed disciplines that it is regarded for, Nigeria fell woefully.

Over time, Nigeria has received some measure of satisfaction in the quick sprints, however the inquest for Team Nigeria started out proper in the center of the Games when the Athletics Integrity Unit banned 10 of its 23 athletes for lacking the three obligatory out-of-competition checks in the run-up to Tokyo. In all, the AIU banned 20 of such laggards globally, however Nigeria accounted for half. That is inexcusable.

Three days after, Nigeria suffered any other humiliating shock. Blessing Okagbare, a medal hopeful, used to be suspended by means of the AIU for failing a dope test. The human increase hormone used to be located in the pattern she submitted on July 19, 4 days to the Games. All this befell principally due to the fact of the bickering and the contest for the soul – or better spoils – of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, which has been enmeshed in a succession disaster considering the fact that 2019. Currently, there are two AFN factions, one of them being surreptitiously backed with the aid of the Federal Ministry of Sports.

The Tokyo no-show is the damaging manifestation of the ineptitude, crude politics, confusion, half-truths and egotistic video games between the ministry and AFN. It substantiates the scandals that envelope Nigeria in these Games, along with the plane-load of greenbacks flown mid-Games to Rio to cowl the country’s shame, and the Moscow ’80 intercourse scandal.

Long earlier than the Games, the AFN and the ministry squabbled over a $2.7 million Puma (sportswear company) endorsement deal. Instead of purpose to prevail, Nigerian athletes wore distinctive kits in Tokyo. Chukwuebuka Enekwechi made international headlines when he publicly washed his solely jersey for the men’s shotput finals due to the fact there had been no kits. Other athletes – like Brume – blended their kits from distinct manufacturers. Disgusted at the horrible embarrassment, Puma terminated the contract. There are hints that it may demand compensation from Nigeria.

But nations like Germany, the United States and Jamaica are exploiting endorsement offers to carry their athletes and sports. Japanese tennis star, Naomi Osaka, who lit the Tokyo Games flame, receives $55 million in endorsements annually. Simone Biles, the US gymnast who has won international attention, earns $5 million; her compatriots, Alex Morgan (women’s football), $5 million, Katie Ledecky (swimming), $3 million and Sue Bird (women’s basketball), $1 million. Conversely, a few Nigerian athletes obtained $20,000 every from a nation governor a few weeks earlier than the Games. This is now not structured. It relies upon on the whims of a governor and can’t yield tangible results. So lengthy as directors persist in taking part in politics, sports activities will stay in the doldrums.

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