NIGERIAN ATHLETES SPARED FROM BAN AS FORMER SPORTS MINISTER, DALUNG IAAF, BOSS COE REACH AMICABLE RESOLUTION” ON OVERPAYMENT TO AFN

NIGERIAN ATHLETES SPARED FROM BAN AS FORMER SPORTS MINISTER, DALUNG IAAF, BOSS COE REACH AMICABLE RESOLUTION” ON OVERPAYMENT TO AFN

BY LIAM MORGAN

An “amicable resolution” has been reached between International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe and former Nigerian Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung over an erroneous payment given to the country by the worldwide governing body, it has been claimed. 

Coe and Dalung spoke by telephone regarding the $150,000 (£117,000/€134,000) the IAAF accidentally paid the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) in 2017, which has still not been refunded.

The call came after Dalung launched a scathing attack on the IAAF, where he claimed the sport’s worldwide governing body had been “blackmailing” Nigeria and accused the organisation of involvement in a “calculated attempt to demean and destroy Nigerian athletics”.

The IAAF mistakenly paid $150,000 into the AFN account two years ago – the amount due should have been an annual grant to Member Federations of $15,000 (£11,700/€13,400).

In a letter sent to the AFN earlier this month, the IAAF warned Nigeria would incur sanctions if the $134,000 (£104,000/€120,000) that was overpaid was not returned. 

Dalung had interpreted the warning as a threat that the IAAF would ban Nigeria from international competition.

This was later categorically denied by the IAAF, which insisted it had “no intention” to suspend the AFN.

It is not exactly clear what agreement Coe and Dalung reached but the IAAF is confident the full amount will be returned in the near future.

In August last year, Dalung supposedly pledged to immediately sign off the repayment of half of the missing money, although the IAAF has neither confirmed nor denied if this was ever paid.

The IAAF revealed at the time that it had received an unspecified “small amount” from the AFN.

It has not yet been established why the AFN has not yet refunded the money, although reports in Nigeria claimed some of it had already been spent on kits for the Nigerian team at last year’s African Championships.

“The IAAF can confirm that the Honourable Solomon Dalung, Minister for Sport in Nigeria, and IAAF President, Sebastian Coe spoke by telephone yesterday evening to discuss the overdue payment of the funds that were mistakenly paid by the IAAF to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria,” an IAAF spokesperson said.

“An amicable resolution has been reached and the matter will be settled very soon. 

“The IAAF would like to thank Minister Dalung for his assurances and continued interest in the sport of athletics.”

It is not exactly clear what agreement Coe and Dalung reached but the IAAF is confident the full amount will be returned in the near future.

In August last year, Dalung supposedly pledged to immediately sign off the repayment of half of the missing money, although the IAAF has neither confirmed nor denied if this was ever paid.

The IAAF revealed at the time that it had received an unspecified “small amount” from the AFN.

It has not yet been established why the AFN has not yet refunded the money, although reports in Nigeria claimed some of it had already been spent on kits for the Nigerian team at last year’s African Championships.

“The IAAF can confirm that the Honourable Solomon Dalung, Minister for Sport in Nigeria, and IAAF President, Sebastian Coe spoke by telephone yesterday evening to discuss the overdue payment of the funds that were mistakenly paid by the IAAF to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria,” an IAAF spokesperson said.

“An amicable resolution has been reached and the matter will be settled very soon. 

“The IAAF would like to thank Minister Dalung for his assurances and continued interest in the sport of athletics.”

– insidethegames

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