Ekiti athletes get new kits, state Assembly probes officials

By Daily Sports Nigeria on September 28, 2023

Team Ekiti on Wednesday unveiled their new kits at the ongoing National Youth Games in Asaba in what is a reparation for their show of shame at the opening ceremony of the Games on Saturday, where viral pictures online showed their athletes during the march-past wearing different shades of pants and slippers on white T-shirts.

The new kits will be used by the athletes during the closing ceremony on Saturday.

This comes as the Ekiti State House of Assembly began investigation into the kits scandal that rocked the state’s camp in Asaba, the Delta State capital.

The Chairman, House Committee on Youths and Sports, Idowu Odebunmi, expressed the House’s dissatisfaction with the negligence of the sports council officials resulting in the misrepresentation of the state.

Odebunmi, who said at the Parliamentary Session on Tuesday evening that the probe was initiated to ensure accountability, transparency and adherence to standards in representing Ekiti State, assured that the House would follow it to logical conclusion.

The committee, however, directed the state’s sports council general manager, Adekuble Adeyemi, to come back with all his senior officials  upon their return from the event.

The chairman stated that the committee’s report would be submitted to the House after the conclusion of its investigation for further legislative action.

Adeyemi, who was recalled from the games following the outcry in Ekiti that greeted the kits scandal, apologised for the embarrassment caused the state at the opening ceremony.

The GM, however, stated that the sports council would continue to do its best to move sports forward in Ekiti.

He thanked the Governor Biodun Oyebanji administration for support to the sports council, stating that N20m was promptly approved for the Games by Governor Oyebanji, less than 24 hours after submitting the approval.

Meanwhile, following the show of shame, more revelations have emerged on the poor preparations of the contingent ahead of the Games, The PUNCH reports.

The PUNCH learnt from sources within the team’s camp in Asaba and Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, that the 100 athletes representing the state were not camped prior to the Games while they had poor or no facilities to train at all.

The athletes shabby outfits led to the General Manager of Ekiti State Sports Council, Adekunle Adeyemi, being recalled by Governor Biodun Oyebanji on Sunday, while the Ekiti State House of Assembly also summoned him and top officials in the sports council to appear before it on Tuesday (today).

While the sports council boss and his officials are under fire, the athletes have continued their business in Asaba by progressing in their respective events.

Golfer Abdulrahman Fatai won the first gold medal for the state in the golf event on Monday. They won their second gold in golf courtesy of Abdulrahman Mustapha, the younger brother of Abdulrahman Fatai. The younger Abdulrahman defeated his counterpart from Borno in the final. His elder brother, Fatai, also won a silver medal for the state in golf as well.

Some of their other athletes have also dazzled in the table tennis and handball events at the early stages of the competition but their inadequate preparations might cut-short their potential, according to an official.

“We had no camping at all before the Games. There was nothing to prepare us for the games and the athletes are just being paid part of their allowances, days after we arrived here (Asaba),” the official told The PUNCH.

“There was even no provision for kits during the opening ceremony. The state has a colour and they used to provide ceremonial wears for that purpose, that has been the tradition, but athletes had to wear different kinds of pants and slippers with the white T-shirts that were donated by a bank,” he added.

An athlete, who represented the state at the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival in 2021, Niyi Ogunleye, as well as an Ado-Ekiti-based journalist, Qasim Oladapo, also revealed that the facilities at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado-Ekiti were nothing to write home about, although the present administration in the state had promised to rebuild its gymnasium.

“The performance of these athletes are not usually about the resources. You will see Ekiti athletes winning medals in some sports they don’t have facilities. For example, gymnastics is our fortress but we don’t have facilities. We don’t have weightlifting and even athletics, the only thing they can boast of is the tartan tracks,” Oladapo said.

“The football pitch is the only one that gets attention. Most of us use private gyms where we pay from our source. We don’t have good facilities, we don’t have indoor halls and gymnasts have to train on the runway of the long jump area. They just bring their apparatus there and train. Even our table tennis athletes train in a primary school near the stadium,” Ogunleye told The PUNCH.

“Aside that, there is another place we call Pavilion along Iyin Road, where volleyball and basketball players train.”

They also said no athlete, except players of Ekiti United FC, are under the payroll of the state government, hence the athletes only get paltry allowances during national events or any other competition they attend.

It was also gathered that the sum of N20m was approved for the participation of the state at the 2023 Youth Games, which is the second highest amount of money any of the state’s contingent will receive for participating at any national event.

“For the Governor to have released N20m for the Youth Games, it means he is really committed to sports in the state because the highest money we have received ever was N23m or thereabout during the Eko 2012 National Sports Festival. I remember we protested before we got N2m for 32 athletes during Abuja 2018 festival,” Yusuf Ismaila, the Chairman of Ekiti State Athletes Association, told The PUNCH.

“So, for me I believe the state government will do its best for sports development in the state but it’s up to our administrators to do things accordingly,” he added.





Source Punch Ng

Posted September 28, 2023


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