Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, has accused the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) of ‘blackmail’ after the body gave Nigeria an ultimatum to refund the money it was paid in error.
IAAF said Nigeria was overpaid in 2017 by $130,000 and that the country should pay back or face sanctions.
It is alleged that Mr Dalung authorised the disbursement of the money.
Speaking at the 2019 Okpekpe Road Race on Saturday in Edo State, Dalung questioned the claims made by IAAF, claiming that Nigeria did nothing wrong.
“I think Nigeria has been unfairly treated because the issue has been painted and promoted as if there was any wrongdoing on the part of Nigeria,” Dalung said.
“Certainly not, grants were released to Nigeria on the 17th of May 2017. IAAF on the 19th confirmed the transaction; those from IAAF after two months turned round and cried foul that it was a mistake.
“I smell rat in the whole thing and I believe that the whole thing has been orchestrated in an attempt to blackmail Nigeria.”
He continued: “Even when we went into it, we were not even convinced what the mistake was, is it a mistake of Nigeria or that of IAAF?
“When did they realise they made a mistake when the transaction was confirmed? I made a mistake in transferring money… I realised within 10 minutes and I called my bank and I retrieved the money. Why did it take IAAF two months to realise a mistake? An international organization, highly reputable?
“I think it is not about money erroneously credited to Nigeria, but there is a calculated attempt just to diminish and destroy Nigerian athletics, otherwise, I don’t see why they call it a mistake. We didn’t apply for a grant.”
207 total views, 3 views today
Dessers Opens Goal Account As Mexico Pip Super Eagles 2-1 In Friendly
It was not the best of starts for new head coach, Jose Peseiro, as the Super Eagles lost 2-1 to El Tri of Mexico in an international friendly game at the AT & T Stadium, Dallas, USA, in the early hours of Sunday.
Cyriel Dessers opened his goals account for the Eagles after drawing them level with a powerful header.
The Super Eagles are now winless against Mexico in six meetings, losing three and drawing three.
Up next for Peseiro’s side is another friendly against Ecuador on June 2.
Mexico bossed the early exchanges as the Super Eagles struggled to get a foothold in the game.
Santiago Gimenez then gave Mexico a deserved lead on 12 minutes as his initial effort from a headed pass hit Uzoho and bounced off him into the net.
Andres Guardado almost doubled Mexico lead as he met a long pass but saw his effort parried away by Uzoho.
In the 31st minute Uzoho was called to action again but he made a brilliant save to stop a well struck shot by Guardado.
Before the start of the second half Innocent Bonke went off injured and was replaced by Katsina United’s Faisal Sani.
Mexico continued from where they stopped in the first half and almost doubled their lead early in the second half but Semi Ajayi cleared away a dangerous cross for a corner.
The Super Eagles drew level on 54 minutes through Dessers whose downward header off a delightful cross from Bassey was too strong for the keeper to hold.
Just two minutes later the Mexicans went 2-1 ahead after Troost-Ekong slammed a cross into his own net.
Terem Moffi should have equalised for the Eagles after receiving the ball inside the box but saw his shot miss the target.
Few minutes later Roberto Alvarado received a pass inside the box but could not keep his shot down.
With six minutes left the Mexico almost extended their lead through Diego Lainez but his low shot took a deflection off Troost-Ekong and went out for a corner.
600 total views, 600 views today
Real Madrid Clinch 14th Champions League Title, Defeat Liverpool 1-0 In Final
Real Madrid have won their 14th Champions League title after overcoming Liverpool 1-0 in the final on Saturday in Paris.
Vinícius Júnior netted the solitary goal of the game in the 59th minute thanks to a beautiful assist from Federico Santiago Valverde.
It is now a record-extending 14th Champions League title for Madrid who have now won eight straight finals.
For Carlo Ancelotti he is now the only coach to have won the prestigious trophy a record four times, two at AC Milan (2003, 2007) and two at Madrid (2014, 2022).
Also, the Los Blancos have beaten Liverpool in back-to-back Champions League finals.
Liverpool bossed the early exchanges but were denied by some brilliant saves from Thibaut Courtois.
Karim Benzema thought he had given Madrid the lead late in the first half only to see his effort ruled out for offside after a long VAR check.
The breakthrough eventually came for Madrid on 59 minutes thanks to Vinicius, who slotted home a low cross from Federico Valverde.
Liverpool went in search of the equalizer with Mohamed Salah going the closest but Courtois made a brilliant stop to deny him.
1,507 total views, 786 views today
UCL Final: Real Madrid Not Under Pressure To Win 14th Title –Ancelotti
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti can’t see any nerves amongst his players ahead of the Champions League final against Liverpool.
Real Madrid have 13 European Cup wins to their name and Ancelotti believes his veteran players are slightly more relaxed.
“I think the motivation is the same as it was for Lisbon, but there are fewer pre-match nerves this time,” he stated.
“Nerves might come later and that’s fine.
“It feels natural to be back and to reach this final has been very important for the club.
“We’ve had a very very good season and we feel calm.
“These players manage these kinds of matches very well and I think the veteran players can help the younger players.
“I’m happy to be here preparing for this game.”
970 total views, 461 views today
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