The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has summoned the Secretary, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Olumide Bamiduro, to explain the ticket scandal that rocked the social media at the weekend.
A statement by the minster’s Special Adviser on Media, Nneka Anibeze, said on Sunday in Lagos that the ministry’s staff of the Federation of Elite Athletes Department (FEAD) was also summoned.
It will be recalled that a mail purportedly written by the AFN secretary had asked athletes to send an estimate of what their ticket to Rio may cost.
The said mail also assured them that refunds would be given if approved by the ministry for purchase by the athletes.
The statement said that the minister had washed his hands off the mail that went viral on Saturday.
It added that Dalung had in a press release on Saturday said that he had neither instructed anyone to push such information nor even muted such to FEAD.
It also said that Dalung had warned that those who wrote such a letter asking athletes to buy their air tickets to Rio would be investigated and sanctioned accordingly.
“I hereby restate that no athlete has been authorised or asked to buy his or her ticket to the Olympic Games.
“Whoever that wrote the letter did so on his or her own accord without due consultation with the overseer of sports in the country which is the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
“We are totally committed to the welfare of our athletes and will ensure that they are not psychologically affected by distractions caused by this letter,’’ it quoted Dalung as saying.
Meanwhile, it has said that athletes would start moving to the Games Village on Aug. 1, 2016.
“The Ministry of Youth and Sports is to ensure the smooth movement of athletes abroad to the Games Village in Rio.’’