This year’s African Athletics Championships will no longer hold in Lagos, after the federal government declared that the country cannot host the competition that had been billed to be staged at Teslim Balogun Stadium from June 23 to 27.
Megasportsarena.com reports that, despite earlier assurances that the rest of Africa would converge on Surulere for the track and field fiesta this month, the Nigerian government has pulled out of the venture due to worries over COVID-19.
This is despite an assurance just last week from the sports minister, Sunday Akinlabi Dare, when he assured that the Nigerian government had agreed to step in to host the event in Lagos to replace Algeria, who had asked for a postponement after also citing COVID-19 concern.
A report by BBC Sport added: “This latest decision leaves the future of the athletics showpiece in doubt for this year despite Algeria insisting it is still willing to host the event later this year, coronavirus permitting.
“The Confederation of African Athletics had hoped that with Nigeria hosting the championships it would give athletes the chance to achieve qualifying standards for the Tokyo Olympics ahead of the 29 June deadline.
“It is yet another problem to hit the biennial event which should have taken place in 2020 before being postponed by a year due to Covid-19.
“The plan was then to hold the championships in the Algerian city of Oran between the 1st and 5th June 2021 before it was then moved to Algiers and set to take place 22-26 June.”