The head coach of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Seigha Porbeni, says Nigeria’s male athletes are no longer passionate about athletics.
Porbeni stated this against the backdrop of the underwhelming performances of the male athletes at this year’s World Athletics Championships and the Commonwealth Games.
Team Nigeria ended the 2022 Commonwealth Games put up their best performance ever at the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games, but it was the female athletes who stole the show at both events, winning all the country’s gold medals as well the majority of the medals.
Porbeni disclosed that most male athletes do not see athletics as a serious business as a result Nigerians have lost some of its best athletes who do not find a career path in athletics.
“As the head coach of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, I can tell you our male athletes are not focused like the females once, lack of training is killing our male athletes. These athletes have abandoned the facility.”
“Some athletes as they are arriving at the national camp, the first question they ask is ‘how is our allowance, we have other things to do to make more money, you people should not waste our time here.”
“In one year, we have lost about four to five best potential athletes due to this quick money syndrome, they now see the sport as a recreation thing to pass time.”
Nigerian female athletes won 12 gold, six silver and eight bronze models, while the male athletes managed just three silver and six bronze medals.
Team Nigeria finished seventh place with 35 medals, 12 gold, 9 silver, and 14 bronze medals.
The talking point from the CWG was the failure of Nigerian male athletes to replicate the outstanding performance of the female athletes that won 12 gold medals.