The Oasis Reporters
August 2, 2018
BY Aloysius Okerieke, Asaba
The President, Confederation of African Athletics, CAA, Hamad Kalkaba Malboum has explained the reason behind the alleged shady and poor preparation put up by Local Organising Committee(LOC) of Asaba 2018 championship holding in Asaba, Delta state.
This followed alleged threat by some participating countries to withdraw from the competition due to poor logistic arrangement and other challenges facing the athletes.
The president who felt disappointed over shady preparation while briefing Sports Journalists at the media station of Stephen Keshi stadium Asaba, appealed to the participating countries and their athletes to tolerate and understand the situation on ground.
While apologising over any shortcoming, he said ” what happened here in Asaba is beyond our control. We transfer athletes from Lagos to Asaba but due to some technical reason, the flight was shifted”.
Malboum, a Cameroonian thus assured that “from now till the end of the competition, we do everything possible to make it a success. All the delegation has been in Asaba since on Wednesday and so there is no more athlete remaining in Lagos”.
While appreciating the effort being put by the organizer, CAA President urged all to be tolerant, understand the situation and bear with the organizer.
On his part, the former president, Nigeria Athletics Federation and Chairman, LOC, Mr Solomon Ogba accepted the blame, tendered unreserved apology and pleaded for understanding.
“Today all the athletes are here, we have adjusted the program to accommodate all, no one will be shot out. We apologize for any shortcoming but it was not entirely the fault of the LOC. We know the situation in the country, when we had issue of flight delays, we were able to accommodate all participants in Lagos and we appeal for shift on some events to enable all athletes to participate”, Ogba explained.
“Other cities like Lagos turn down the hosting, so i have to talk to the Delta state governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa to bring the competition to Asaba in order not to deny Nigeria the hosting right”, explained Ogba who gave assurance that the competition will end well.
The president of International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Mr Sebastian Coe who expressed dismay over the development, said ” i am not here just for the ceremony alone but also to check, look and observe some challenges as to proffer possible solution in subsequence occurrence”
The IAAF thank governor Okowa for preparing future athletes in Africa by providing salubrious environment for the athletes to strive.