Former Athletics Federation of Nigeria president and veteran coach, Toni Urhobo has lashed out at Nigerian sports administrators, saying they are only paying lip service to sports development in the country. Urhobo decried the absence of a clear cut sports policy in the country, adding that Nigeria ought to be rubbing shoulders with the likes of the USA, Australia and China based on the abundance of talents the country possessed. “First of all you have a Nigerian born athlete representing almost every major sporting nation in the world, “Urhobo said. “It is only those that couldn’t make teams in other countries that usually come back home to struggle for the chance to be at the Olympics. What does that tell us? There are too many talented sports people in Nigeria. “But how have we tapped and managed these resources, absolutely, nothing but trial and error and it is such a joke.” He submitted that back in the days a State like Bendel offered opportunities for sports men and women to excel with good incentives and training facilities. “It was through Bendel State in the days of Samuel Ogbemudia I got a scholarship to study in the USA, there were so many athletes during my time that got this opportunity. “In the USA you will find out that Sports is tied to education, you almost certainly have sports franchises like the NFL, NBA, recruiting athletes from colleges. But it is not like that in Nigeria, the Universities make things difficult for the sportsmen and women. “Like the colleges in the USA, they are supposed to offer scholarships to athletes, make academics amendable for sports men and women and run collegiate games, but it is not so. “Even at the grassroots level school sports is practically dead unlike in those days, where you had all sorts of competitions from which grassroots talents are discovered. “At the National Sports Festival we used to have junior, intermediate and open categories, what do we have now, a festival that has been watered down and basically a mockery of the glorious past.”

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