By Albert Akota
It is exactly nine days after 2019 National Youth Games (NYG) ended in Ilorin, Kwara state capital, yet, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has repotedly refused to pay athletes and officials that represented the Nation’s capital at the annual cadet sports competition.
Since their return from the faraway venue of the event, athletes that were initially subjected to begging inside the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) premises before they could eat and train ahead of most sporting event during the ten days fiesta have resorted to lament in frustration after some of them hauled medals despite humiliating circumstance they were subjected to due to lack of funds.
Our correspondent who spoke to some of the athletes on Thursday reports that most of them are already making plans to desert Abuja and start competing for other states in future sporting engagements.
One of them, who competed as gymnastics athlete but pleaded anonymity expressed displeasure over what he described as ‘inhuman treatment’ meted against FCT contingent before, during and after the games.
“We are one of the states that had very poor preparation before this year’s competition yet, FCT was best in gymnastics because of personal efforts which our coaches helped us to achieve. We don’t know they have refused to do something for us.”
Another athlete who competed in Taekwondo event said, “All the athletes and officials that trained us are regretting why we choose to represent FCT. There is nothing to show for all the time we gave during training and throughout the competition. Our coaches kept pleading with us to give our best despite the situation in Ilorin.
“Now, those in charge of things have abandoned us. It is not as if they are sponsoring us in school or did anything for us before now. Our coaches only told us they will give us money if we participate and win. Up till now, we have not heard anything. Like me, my parents don’t really have money to take full care of my studies. I decided to start doing sports because i felt it will help me to move forward in life.”
About two years ago, both Ikechukwu and Emmanuel Osadebe who competed and won medals in chess had abandoned FCT for another state after similar frustrating situation reared up.
Effort to speak with officials of FCTA including the Secretary of Social Development Secretariat didn’t yield result as she was said to have gone on official assignment as at the time of filling this report.
She is yet to return calls put across to her after her phone called severally.
Despite frustration which both athletes and technical officials faced at the games, FCT finished in the ninth position.