The embattled president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Ibrahim Shehu Gusau has revealed the reason behind his led federation’s autonomy bid from the sports ministry.
The AFN president while speaking during a press conference in Lagos yesterday revealed that, the autonomy of the AFN is in conformity with the international best practices adding it will open widely door for sponsorship for the federation to carry out her activities without funding from the government.
“The autonomy we are talking about is in so far as administering the federation is concerned and had always been in existence in the statutes of the AFN, the CAA and the WA. We have always borne all expenses associated with the administration of the federation”he said.
“This does not however, preclude the Government, through the FMYSD, from meeting its obligations to the athletes. If athletes are representing Nigeria in a competition, it behoves on the government to take care of them because they are representing the country, not the federation”.
“When we approach individuals and corporate organisations for sponsorship, the response had always been that they cannot fund government activities. They claim that government is richer”.
Gusau also revealed that the federation under his leadership have successfully secured USD2.76m Puma kits deal.
“I am pleased to inform Nigerians that the Puma sponsorship deal, which is in kind, will run from September 1, 2019 to December 31, 2022. It is unique in the sense that Puma will deliver kits worth USD2.76m to the Federation in Abuja, Nigeria. That way, we do not have to spend scarce resources available to be travelling to Germany to collect the kits.”
He went further to set targets for the federation ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.
“We have since submitted our plans and programmes towards an improved performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and like I said in Akwa, our aim is to win 2 Gold Medals in Tokyo. We are focussed and determined. We need the cooperation of all and sundry to be able to achieve this feat”.
“Athletics is one of the top Federations that have high prospects of bringing medals from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics we are working on how to improve the welfare of athletes for optimum performance”
Gusau noted that the broad meeting held in Akwa, Anambra State on December 3, 2019, was convened in accordance with relevant rules of the AFN and had the presence of the Director General, Confederation of African Athletics, Mr Lamine Faty,
However, he stated that, only the congress can remove Sunday Adeleye who is a elected member from the board not the president or the board members.