The federal government of Nigeria has altogether cancelled hosting of the African Athletics Championships that was set to take place from June 23- June 27 2021.
Lagos the host city, withdrew from hosting the event because the Nigerian Health Authorities had not approved hosting and organisation of the event due to the covid-19 pandemic that is ravaging the world.
”Nigeria has withdrawn from hosting the African Athletics Championships from June 23 – 27. Lagos State was supposed to host the Champs following Algeria’s withdrawal, but the Nigerian Health authorities haven’t approved the organization on grounds of the COVID pandemic.” said a statement by Nigeria Athletics on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/NGAthletix/status/1400482987985281031.
In 2018, the Nigerian city of Asaba was the last host city for the biennial African Athletics Championship, with the organizers of the event receiving heavy criticism with how Athletes were handled after failing to organize the transfer of athletes from the airport to the host venues and vice versa.
Nigeria becomes the second country to withdraw from hosting the event as the initial host’s Algeria also withdrew from hosting the continental showpiece due to the pandemic.
The fate of the event is now in limbo as the athletics governing body, World Athletics is yet to issue a statement in regards to Nigeria’s withdrawal.
Meanwhile, the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Olamide George, has said he has not received an official document from any quarter regarding Nigeria’s refusal to host the CAA event.
“I heard the news, but as we speak, I have not received any official document to that effect,” George said, as reported by Nigerian newspaper The Guardian.
In close relation Argentina declined to host COPA America, the South American version of AFCON due to the increase in number of corona virus cases with Brazil taking up the hosting rights, however the fate of COPA America is still unclear as Brazil also contemplates against hosting of the event due to public out roar, and opposition from major health stakeholders.
Already Brazil coach Leonardo Tite has admitted that some members of his squad who are to play in the Copa America are refusing to do so as a result of safety concerns, Tite said this after Real Madrid’s Casemiro failed to join the Samba Boys.
”The players have a very clear opinion, against the president, about playing the tournament,” Tite said.