BY ISAAC AFOLABI
Despite what can be described as a good outing so far for team Ondo at the ongoing 19th edition of the National Sports Festival (NSF) in Abuja, all seem not to be well with Atheletes, coaches and media personnel attached to team Ondo.
Currently, the team has amassed over 10 gold at the tournament which includes Volleyball,Boxing and Swimming.
The issue of welfare, allowances and accommodation which was said to have been sorted out before embarking on the trip to Abuja was aborted by the management leaving the athletes,coaches and media personnel wandering in the nation’s federal territory.
Speaking under the condition of anonymity, two of the athletes said they were promised five thousand naira before leaving but while in camp they were told that five thousand naira agreement has been slashed to two thousand naira for each athletes as allowance.
One of them said the athletes have agreed not to allow any vehicle to leave Abuja after the game without the management paying them their allowances as agreed.
In a bid to make more findings, this Reporter put a call through to a senior and respected coach(name withheld) and he calmly said in yoruba, “hmmm , Isaac omasee gann,awon omo yen binu gaan nitori eto ti won se sile ko ni won ba ni Abuja”, meaning,the boys are angry because it was not the agreed plan they met in Abuja.
Quickly, I remembered one of the journalists who traveled to cover specifically Ondo state teams participation at the games whose name I may not also mention.
His comment was even more terrible than the athletes,as he lamented sleeping on the floor with his wrapper due to the inability of the team leaders to accommodate him let alone providing some incentives for him to be dine and psychologically ready to perform his duties.
Well, the issue of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria Ondo state chapter is a story for another day.
The gentle journalist went further to express displeasure over the selection of some officials who have no business in traveling with the camp,relaxing and taking a good look at the beautiful edifices in Abuja while athletes are roaming around in hunger.
Still not satisfied with the information, I again took another step to reach the Ondo state commissioner for sports Mr Saka Ogunleye and luckily he picked and confirmed the uproar in the camp but promised to settle all challenges faced by players the following day.
A meeting of the Hon. Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Saka Yusuf Ogunleye with the Management, Coaches, Sports Secretaries and the Captains of each sport has however been scheduled to hold today Saturday, 15th December, 2018 at the Swimming Pool Complex of the National Stadium, Package B by 12.00 noon.