At least 300 athletes have been disqualified by the Ministry of Youth and Sports over age falsification at the ongoing National Youth Games (NYG) in Ilorin, Kwara state, aclsports.com gathered.
The screening was done at the Multipurpose Hall of the University of Ilorin.
The Director of Grassroots Sports Development in the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports, Ademola Are told aclsports.com that every athlete must undergo the screening to be eligible to contest at the Youth Games.
He said that state’s found guilty will pay the sum of N250,000 per athlete and the coaches face a one year ban.
Are said the Ministry condemns the attitude of winning by presenting over aged players.
“We want to ensure that the screening committee does a good job. We don’t want to indulge states that wants to win medals by all cost by presenting overage athletes”.
“We have conscience and when you see a child less than 15 years old you know. Some persons raised the issue of documents like passport, child certificate and I told them sorry we might not go with that because they can always get alternative documents everywhere. We want to see these children physically and justice will be done accordingly”
Ondo State gymnastics coach, Austin Anthony lauded the Ministry of Sports for the successful screening exercise.
He said, “The ministry did a great job this year by seeing the athletes physically and not allowing the coaches to be at the screening centre. The presence of the coaches might have influenced the decisions of the officials”.
“If the Youth Games remain under 15, Nigeria will have a template to produce future champions at International tournaments”, Anthony said.