The coach of Kwara State Athletics Association, Adeniyi Awe has explained that the suspended coach of the association, Hammid Muritala, deceived him into joining Kwara’s athletics contingent to Benin for the 2023 AFN Golden League.
Speaking to journalists in Ilorin on Monday, Awe said he only allowed the banned coach to join them on the bus after he pleaded that he needed to be in Benin for further hearing on his case.
Coach Muri, as he is popularly called, is currently serving a 10-year ban from the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, after admitting to having force-fed a youth athlete with a banned substance two years ago in Ilorin.
Awe said he only showed compassion to Muritala and that he had nothing to do with the team or athletes immediately after touching down in Benin and throughout their stay.
He said, “When we were departing for the 2023 AFN Golden League on June 12th, Hammid Muritala met with the team and informed us that he got a call from the Athletics Coaches Association of Nigeria (ACAN) to appear in Benin to clear his name and finalise on the 10-year suspension.
“If I had known it was a lie, I wouldn’t have permitted him to join us on the trip,” said the subdued coach.
“The greatest mistake I made was not to inform the Secretary of the Association and the Executive Chairman of Kwara State Sports Commission of his move.
“When the team arrived in Benin for the AFN Golden League, Muritala was nowhere near Kwara State Athletes but, unfortunately, his presence cost the state an indefinite BAN.”
Awe is under investigation by the Kwara State Sports Commission over the Athletics Federation of Nigeria’s suspension of Kwara athletes indefinitely after Muri was discovered in the company of athletes in Benin.