Rio Olympics:Ministry denies reports as Foreign based athletes are reassured of tickets.
The news went viral on Friday, July 22nd when US based Nigerian athlete, Regina George created a GoFundMe page to solicit for funds to make her dream to the Olympics successful. This was welcomed by a lot of criticism as to why the athletes should fund themselves to the Olympics.
The University of Arkansas graduate’s story became popular as she was ranked Number 1 on Nigeria’s trending list stated on her GoFundMe account that,
‘This year it’s been hard financially for me but it wouldn’t have been possible without your support. I just been told that we will have to pay our own way to the Olympics this year . Sadly this is such short notice for me to come up with the money. They also promised a refund but I’m still waiting for many refunds promised in the past.’
Other athletes like Nnwaneka Okwelogu and Antwon Hicks were also found seeking funds on the platform.
In a statement by the Sports Ministry, it denied giving such directive on Saturday.
The ministry in a statement signed by Nneka Ikem Anibeze, Special Assistant on Media To the Minister, Solomon Dalung, said that the ministry did not ask any foreign athlete to buy their ticket to Rio.
“We did not write any mail asking athletes to pay their way to Rio,” Dalung said in the statement adding, “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,” Dalung said.
Meanwhile, the AFN, has directed the athletes to discountenance the earlier directive following the public outcry.
AFN Secretary, Bamidele Olumide, in another memo on Saturday said that the directive has become imperative because the earlier memo was misconstrued by the athletes.
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