By: Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Ogun State Government says it has paid the athletes who represented the State in the just concluded National Youth Games in Ilorin as well as athletes that participated in the elimination stages held in Ibadan.
The Director, State Sports Council, Mr Adeola Faleti, stated this today at the Sports Council, Ijeja Stadium, Abeokuta while reacting to a newspaper report dated September 19, 2017 that the state officials refused to pay athletes their allowances.
He said officials of the council have not in any way put on hold the elimination allowances of the athletes, adding that the directive to pay all athletes was given by the Commissioner, Mr. Afolabi Afuape on the day of departure to Ilorin.
Faleti said the approval of payment was signed by the coaches of the athletes that participated in the elimination stages, adding that those who were not paid on the spot were athletes from Cricket and Hockey teams who were not on ground before the journey to Ilorin.
“I want to state categorically that both the athletes that participated at the elimination stages in Ibadan few weeks ago and those that represented the state in Ilorin have been fully paid their allowances except for those that are yet to show up” Faleti said.
Also speaking, the Director of Finance and Account, Ogun State Sports Council, Mr. Deola Awoniyi, confirmed that all athletes who travelled to Ilorin have been paid their allowances on return
“No elimination allowance was put on hold. In fact it was an agreement between the coaches and the state officials that in order not to pay to the wrong athletes that did not participate at the elimination stages, their coaches need to identify them before payment.
The coaches who were to identify the benefiting athletes were also with the state contingent in Ilorin. Remember that the state Cricket and Hockey teams did not qualify for the games and they were duly paid their elimination allowances on Monday the 18th of September 2017,” Awoniyi said.
Reacting to the publication, the Public Relations Officer of the Council, Mr. Odulele Rotimi, reiterated that government had released adequate fund for the event, adding that the money was released to take care of the athletes’ welfare and address any logistical challenges.