We are not aware of letter asking athletes to buy their own air tickets- Sports minister apologies

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The Minister of Youths and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, has said that he regrets the embarrassment caused Nigeria by a letter which directed Nigerian athletes going to the Olympic Games in Rio to buy their own air tickets. The minister claimed that the said letter was not from the ministry and vowed to investigate the writer.

He disclosed this in a statement signed by his media aide, Nneka Anibeze, which was posted on his Facebook account. Barrister Dalung stated that the Director, High Performance, Angie Taylor has been saddled with the responsibility of arranging for the flights and movement of the foreign based athletes to and from Rio. “We did not write any mail asking athletes to pay their way to Rio. As the overseers of sports in the country, it is our duty to take care of all our athletes. The letter did not come from us and we will investigate the writer of that letter. It does not represent our stand concerning the movement of athletes to Rio and the writer or anybody asking athletes to buy their tickets to Rio will be investigated.

We ask Nigerians and athletes in particular to disregard the mail” Dalung said. He urged athletes to remain focused on their build-up to the Rio games. Recall that the failure of the Federal Government to release funds to the country’s contingents, billed to participate in the 2016 Rio Olympics, holding in Brazil between August 5-21, 2016, has forced athletes representing the country at the world’s foremost sports competition to crowd-source fund from social media.

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