Nigeria Withdraws From Hosting African Athletics Championships

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Less than two weeks after agreeing to host the 22nd edition of the African Athletics Championships in Lagos, Nigeria made a U-turn on the decision yesterday, thereby throwing the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) in doubt once again.

Algeria pulled out of hosting the event last month citing COVID-19 concerns, but Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, agreed to step in to host the championship in Lagos.

Nigeria’s authorities intervened yesterday to say the championships cannot be hosted as planned between June 23 and 27 due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

It is yet another problem to hit the biennial event which should have taken place in 2020 before being postponed by a year due to Covid-19.

This latest decision has left the future of the athletics showpiece in doubt for this year, despite Algeria insisting it is still willing to host the event later this year, coronavirus permitting.

The CAA had hoped that with Nigeria hosting the championships, it would give athletes the chance to achieve qualifying standards for the Tokyo Olympics ahead of the June 29 deadline.

 

Chidi Nwoke/The Guardian.

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