• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Sports ministry denies asking athletes to buy air tickets to Rio


The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development says it did not direct foreign-based athletes going to the Olympic Games in Rio to buy their own air tickets.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, made the clarification on Saturday in Lagos in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Nneka Anibeze.

The statement said the clarification became necessary following a purported mail asking athletes to buy their tickets to the Olympics and which was said to have originated from the ministry.

The statement said that Dalung had made it clear that the Director, High Performance, Angie Taylor, had the responsibility of arranging for the flights and movement of the foreign-based athletes to and from Rio.

“We did not write any mail asking athletes to pay their way to Rio.

“As the overseers of sports in the country, it is our duty to take care of all our athletes.

“The letter did not come from us and we will investigate the writer of that letter.

“It does not represent our stand concerning the movement of athletes to Rio and the writer or anybody asking athletes to buy their tickets to Rio will be investigated.

“We ask Nigerians and athletes in particular to disregard the mail,’’ the statement said.

It added that the minister regretted the embarrassment caused by the letter and asked athletes to remain focused on their build-up to the Rio Games. (NAN)