Lack of funds delays West African Polytechnics Games- Coach

The games have now been postponed to 2014.

Lack of funds is responsible for the postponement of the West Africa Polytechnic Games (WAPOGA), Joseph Ogunbowale, the football coach of the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), has said.

Ogunbowale told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Wednesday that WAPOGA was originally scheduled to hold in August at the Accra Polytechnic in Ghana, but had now been rescheduled for 2014.

The coach explained that the Ghanaian sports authorities failed to include the running cost for the games in its budget and therefore did not have sufficient funds to finance the competition.

“It was because the Ghanaian government is not fully set. It was not clearly stated in its budget; the game was not included in the budget.

“There is no way the host institution in Ghana, which is Accra Polytechnic, will run the game without support from the government. I think that is the logistics.

“The most important thing in it is that since they have all the facilities on ground, they are hosting the games in Accra, Accra being the capital. So there is no way anything could have deterred them if not lack of funds,” he said.

Ogunbowale stated that postponing the games to next year would have a destabilising effect on the athletes, who, he said, had put in so much energy and time to prepare for the games in Ghana. He, however, said that competitions organised in the country would keep both the male and female athletes busy pending when other major competitions would hold.

“It was devastating, but there is no way we could do it, we just have to appeal to them and tell them there are many other competitions ahead.

“We just have to start afresh in terms of encouraging them. That was why my institution was at Calabar, we were even at a Mobil-sponsored competition; we were even at another one in Warri. This is just to keep the boys and girls busy in preparation for major competition,” he said.

The coach said Lagos was still going to have an All Lagos State Tertiary Institutions Games coming up very soon between October and November.

He said that the delay could be a blessing in disguise because it would give the athletes ample time to further prepare for tournaments next year.



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