Executive Chairman, Kwara State Sports Commission, (KSSC), has promised swift retribution to athletics management staff who are directly or vicariously responsible for Athletics Federation of Nigeria, (AFN), sanction on the state.
Magaji disclosed this during a World Press Conference in Ilorin on Monday while also indicating that moves are in top gear to have the AFN review their stance on Kwara.
“We have the future of young outlets to think about and officers responsible for the lapse resulting in the sanction will face the music,” he said.
AFN placed indefinite ban on Kwara State Athletics Association, after it got evidence showing that the association was still engaging Coach Hammid Muritala in athletics activities.
Coach Muri, as he is popularly called, is currently serving a 10 year ban after admitting to have force fed a youth athlete with banned substances two years ago in Ilorin.
Rather than stay off athletics activities, Coach Muri wangled his way into the state’s contingent travelling to Benin for Golden League Athletics Meet to the consternation of stakeholders.
Explaining why the Sports Commission shouldn’t be blamed, Coach Magaji said Muri, the banned coach, Muritala had been on suspension since Oct. 14, 2022, before they got the AFN’s ban notice in February 2023.
He stated that the commission was not aware that the suspended coach followed the state contingent to Benin, Edo state.
”Names of the 10 athletes and a coach was submitted to represent Kwara, and coach Muritala was not included.
”The notice of the coach travelling with the athletes came when the Commission’s Secretary, Mr Tsado Haruna, tried to find out about their movement on June 12, 2023.
”Subsequent to the above, I gave the directive to the Mr Haruna to issue queries to the Head of Coaching, Patience Lawal, Association Secretary, Kafilat Aliyu, existing coach, Oluwaseyi Awe and the suspended coach, Muritala.
”Their replies to the queries will determine the next line of action,” the chairman said.
On the athletics ban in the state, Magaji said it has not been officially communicated to by AFN on the matter.
He however noted that when the commission gets informed eventually, it will apologise and show evidence of correspondences to exonerate itself.