Athletes racing

The troubled African Athletics Championships have been thrown into doubt once again after Nigeria made a U-turn over hosting the event.

The country’s authorities have intervened to say the championships cannot be hosted as planned between 23 and 27 June due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Just last week Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare had agreed to step in to host the event in Lagos to replace Algeria, who had asked for a postponement also citing Covid-19.

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.

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