The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has alerted Nigerians, both home and abroad to a fake video circulating on social media about the Nigerian 4x100m relay team protesting over an alleged maltreatment at the recently concluded games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo, Japan.
In the video, the athletes, Raymond Ekevwo, Soyemi Abiola, Godwin Ashien and Emmanuel Arowolo were seen protesting amongst other things over the non-payment of their allowances.
The AFN, in a statement signed by Prince Adeniyi Adisa Beyioku, its Secretary General says the video was recorded five years ago at the IAAF World U20 Championship in Bydgoszcz, Poland in 2016. ‘
To start with we did not present any men’s 4x100m relay team in Tokyo and none of the four athletes in the video was in Tokyo for the games. The two relay teams we presented were the mixed and women’s 4x100m. Whoever is behind the tagging of the video to the Tokyo Olympics is not only disingenuous and cynical but has also shown himself to be completely bereft of ideas,’ said Beyioku in the statement.
‘ It is becoming alarming the rate at which fake news in whatever form is spreading in Nigeria and we call on the Nigeria Police to investigate the source of this and bring the culprit(s) to book,’ said the AFN Secretary General.
Beyioku insists the fake news was designed to embarrass and the new board of the AFN led by Tonobock Okowa. ‘The Minister has made athletes welfare top on the list of his agenda and has demonstrated this by providing palliatives for the athletes during the Nationwide lockdown ocassioned by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and the payment of allowances owed Nigeria’s U-18 and U-20 athletes since 2019 by the former leadership of the AFN.
The Secretary General also made reference to the federation’s president’s speech during his inauguration in June when he said athletes and coaches welfare will also be top of his priority list.