EMBATTLED NIGERIA ATHLETICS BOSS, GUSAU AMONG RECORD ENTRIES FOR IAAF POSITIONS

EMBATTLED NIGERIA ATHLETICS BOSS, GUSAU AMONG RECORD ENTRIES FOR IAAF POSITIONS

A record 40 candidates will be contesting for 13 positions on International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) when the election come up in Doha, Qatar on the eve of the IAAF World Championships.

Among the candidates is Ibrahim Shehu-Gusau, President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), currently embroiled in an embarrassing dispute with the IAAF over the repayment of $150,000 (£117,000/€134,000) accidentally paid to them in 2017.

Till date, the money has not been fully refunded. Last month, the Sports Ministry in Abuja asked the AFN to re-examine if Gusau was culpable for the failure to repay the money.

Also standing are Saudi Arabia’s Nawaf Bin Mohammed Al Saud and the Norfolk Islands’ Geoffrey Gardner, both existing members of the IAAF Council.

Other contestants include Willie Banks, the 1983 IAAF World Championship triple jump silver medallist.

He has been controversially chosen by USA Track & Field to replace Stephanie Hightower on the IAAF Council. 

The number standing for the 18 positions represents an increase of six per cent on the last election. 

In addition to these 18 positions, there will be six Area Presidents who have already been elected by their continental associations and two members of the Athletes’ Commission – one female and one male – who will be elected in November, making a total of 26 IAAF Council Members.

A focus on increasing the gender balance on Council, with the Areas conducting gender leadership seminars, has seen a 10 per cent increase in female candidates.

The IAAF has set itself a realistic timetable of ensuring it has an equal balance of male and female Council members by 2027, it has claimed.

In the 2019 elections, at least seven of the elected members, including one of the Athletes’ Commission representatives, will be female, representing just under 30 per cent. 

At the next elections in 2023, due to take place in Budapest, 40 per cent of Council will be represented by female members and in 2027 half of those elected will be female. 

“We have a strong list of candidates from 44 countries applying for IAAF Council positions which demonstrates the global strength of our sport,” said Coe. 

“I am particularly pleased that almost 40 per cent of the individual candidates are female, something we have seen reflected across our Area elections, with four of our Areas electing a female vice-president.”

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