Ondo State athletes and coaches have indicated they would not return to the state unless they were paid their due allowances for the ongoing 5th National Youth Games in Ilorin, Kwara State.
The 10-day NYG is for athletes whose ages are not more than 15 years, and it began on September 7 and will end on Tuesday.
Moses Usifo told newsmen via telephone on Sunday in Akure on behalf of the aggrieved athletes and coaches that the state government and the sports council management were guilty of negligence.
The coach said the state’s athletes and coaches had drawn a battle line with the leadership of the sports council following the alleged failure of the management to pay their allowances.
He said the act could simply be described as wicked and barbaric.
“It’s still shocking that most of our athletes at the ongoing NYG in Ilorin are starving, even though they are still competing,” Usifo said.
The boxing coach said the athletes and coaches have not been given any part of their allowances since the games’ commencement and efforts to prevent the imminent crisis had proved abortive.
“We were told to wait till the month end before we can get the allowances, but we have resolved to stop competing and remain in Ilorin until we are paid,” he said.
However, the state’s Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, Dotun Owanikin, told newsmen that the information was not true
Owanikin said: “To the best of my knowledge,this information is not true.
“I know you will discover at the end of the day that the remainder of the officials’ allowances had been scheduled for payment shortly after the games, while the allowances of the athletes had been fully paid.
“I repeat, that all athletes have been fully paid. The officials will receive their balance of allowances when they return to Ondo state. That is the gospel truth.”