Para-athletes disrupt football match at sports festival

Eko 2012

The para-athletes alleged that they were being discriminated against.


The football match between Osun and Gombe at the ongoing 18th National Sports in Lagos was on Thursday disrupted for some minutes as a result of a fiasco between para-athletes and security men.

The para-athletes, numbering about 20, wanted to join their colleagues already training at the back of the football pitch when they were stopped by security men who said a match was ongoing.

The security officials forcefully prevented the para-athletes from walking on the sidelines of the pitch on the ground that the match was still on.

The directive did not go down well with the physically challenged athletes who then engaged the security men in a brawl.

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The fight escalated when the athletes who were also part of the festival increased in their number alleging discrimination.

The match was about 15 minutes to end but the spectators’ attention was momentarily diverted to the fight and which had also temporarily stalled the match proceedings.

Some of the event organisers intervene, after which the match continued but ended a barren draw.

The match commissioner, Buhari Jamila, however, condemned the attitude of the security saying their behaviour was in excess.

“The security men did not have an idea of what they were sent to do. I will not call it over zealousness; it is a clear case of not knowing what they are here for.

“No, the para-athletes training at the back of the pitch did not affect the match, but the security men should be properly briefed,” Ms. Jamila said.

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