With just days to the commencement of the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championship in London, Nigeria’s athletes and officials are still yet to depart the country as they are yet to receive their visas from the UK High Commission.
Only recently, Nigeria missed the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas due to issues bothering on visas, as the country’s delegation to the event was denied transit visas by both the UK and US.
However, a member of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, board, Oludare Esan, calls have been made to both the IAAF and Local Organizing Committee, LOC, of the 2017 world championship to intervene on the team’s behalf.
“We remain hopeful that we are going to be issued with the visas with the intervention of the IAAF and the LOC of the London 2017,” Esan said, according to Thisdaylive.
“The only problem now is that our athletes are going to be under pressure getting to London few hours to their events,” observed the new AFN board member.
Esan, however, further said that the delay in issuing visas to Team Nigeria had nothing to do with late submission of passports by the AFN.
“Contacts were made with the embassy officials because of the delay in conducting the Nigerian Trials for the Championships,” he added.
Some of Nigeria’s brightest athletes and medal hopefuls at the London championship are in danger of missing out on the world meet, led by second fastest hurdler, Tobiloba Amusan, who flew into the country for the Abuja Trials but is yet to get her visa back.
Other athletes in danger of missing out too are; current Commonwealth games long jump champion, Ese Brume, Okon-George, semi-finalist at the 2015 world championship in Beijing, China.
Nigeria’s 4x100m women’s team, led by superstar, Blessing Okagbare, are also in danger of not competing in London, despite having qualified for the event at the Trinidad and Tobago Trials, with Okagbare said to be the only one without visa issues.