Weeks of preparation by Nigerian athletes hoping to don the country’s colours at the 2015 IAAF World Youth Championships slated for Cali, Colombia, may yet again turn out to be an exercise in futility with reports of visa glitches around Team Nigeria.
Olukayode Thomas, the head of media for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, told PREMIUM TIMES that the country’s athletes were denied transit visa by the Brazilian embassy in Lagos.
The Federation is now being forced to seek alternative means to make sure Nigeria does not miss out in the athletics showpiece.
“Nigerian athletes may miss the 2015 IAAF world youth Championships slated for Cali, Colombia, next week due to the inability of the athletes and officials to get transit visa,” Mr. Thomas stated. “The athletes are to travel to Colombia via Brazil but the Brazilian embassy in Lagos refused them transit visa. The federation is looking at alternatives to ensure the athletes make the trip.”
Many fear that a no-show for Nigeria in Cali will deal a serious blow to the morale of young athletes aiming to take over from the retiring ones.
Nigeria also bungled its chance of defending the Africa Athletics Youth Championships in Mauritius owing to a lack of funds which saw the country traveling late and with a lean squad for the newly introduced biennial championships.
As earlier stated by the AFN, 15 athletes from the lot in camp are to be selected for 2015 IAAF world youth Championships which runs from July 15 to 19.