Yesterday, the internet went crazy after a Nigerian athlete, Regina George took to Twitter to solicit for funds to enable her go for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
She wrote: “To all my family, friends and fans, thanks for being here for me through the good times and bad times.
This year it’s been hard financially for me but it wouldn’t have been possible without your support.
I’ve just been told that we will have to pay our own way to the Olympics this year.
Sadly this is such short notice for me to come up with the money.
They also promised a refund but I’m still waiting for many refunds promised in the past.
I’ve been through a lot of obstacles this year and through it all I got into the Olympic team for the second time.
I don’t want to stop now after I earned a spot to represent my country in the Olympics. Any donation will help my situation.
This will not go unnoticed and I’m truly grateful for my supporters. Help spread the word!”
This was followed by similar requests by other athletes selected to represent Nigeria in the competition which starts in about 13 days.
However, in a statement released by the Minister of Sports & Youth Development, Solomon Dalung the Federal Government denied ever asking the athletes to fund their trips to Rio, saying they’re investigating the source of the instruction.
Read the statement below.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development says it did not direct foreign based athletes going to the Olympic Games in Rio to buy their own air tickets. The Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung said this in a statement following a purported mail asking athletes to buy their tickets to the Olympics and which was said to have originated from the Ministry. Barrister Dalung stated that the Director, High Performance Angie Taylor has been saddled with the responsibility of arranging for the flights and movement of the foreign based athletes to and from Rio. “We did not write any mail asking athletes to pay their way to Rio. As the overseers of sports in the country, it is our duty to take care of all our athletes. The letter did not come from us and we will investigate the writer of that letter. It does not represent our stand concerning the movement of athletes to Rio and the writer or anybody asking athletes to buy their tickets to Rio will be investigated. We ask Nigerians and athletes in particular to disregard the mail” Dalung said. The minister however regretted the embarrassment caused by the letter and asked athletes to remain focused on their build-up to the Rio games.
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