Ex-international athlete, Deji Aliu, has lamented over the decaying state of sports in Nigeria particularly athletics, saying it does not portray the country as a one-time force to reckon with in the world.
Aliu who was at the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) organised Nigerian Open Championship to provide a platform for athletes to qualify for the world championship holding in London next month said it lacked everything from organization to participation.
According to the former sprint star: “The Nigerian Open Championship of today negates the ones we participated in the past that produced us as great athletes who competed and made marks in the world of athletics.”
He wondered why the championship was not even up to a standard schools inter-house sports competition of old and the athletes did not even help matters.
Aliu described as worrisome the time athletes returned that were far below the international qualifying set standard and imagined if they are in athletics to make a mark.
“I am not impressed at all with the time athletes are returning. They did not even come near international qualifying time. I did not see anything to rejoice about in this championship. The organisation did not meet the standard of national qualifiers and the performances of athletes, in fact I don’t know how to describe it,” he stated with a tinge of regret.
He disclosed that with the level of decay in sports he will not encourage his children to represent Nigeria, adding that there is nothing interesting about sports in the country again!