16 May 2019
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has given the Nigerian Athletics Federation (AFN) a two-week deadline to bring back $135,000 which was mistakenly sent to its account two years ago.
The athletics governing body has warned the AFN of possible sanctions, including disqualification from major tournaments if the money is not returned during the outlined period of time.
In 2017, the IAAF should have paid $15,000 to the AFN as an annual grant given to member federations, but mistakenly transferred $150,000 to the federation’s account.
The AFN, which had been notified of the mistake, admitted to receiving extra money and assured the IAAF that they would return 50% of the overpayment in 2018, a promise which has not yet been fulfilled.
“You were informed on March 14, 2018 by our CEO of a payment made by the IAAF to the bank account of your federation on May 17, 2017,” the IAAF said in a letter to AFN senior manager Jee Isram.
“A sum of $150,000 was transferred by the IAAF of which $135,000 was wrongly credited. We promptly notified you of this overpayment and followed up several written correspondences, as well as a meeting with you in November 2017 requesting that you reverse the bank transfer for the overpaid amount to no avail.
”On June 28, 2018, you informed us that the Ministry of Sports was ready to refund 50 percent of that amount and despite several telephone conversations the amount was still not paid.”
The IAAF stressed that the country could be banned from the upcoming world championship in Doha and 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo if the federation fails to fulfill its monetary obligations.
“We understand that the Minister of Sports will be stepping down soon and it is imperative that you arrange for the return of the full amount within two weeks at the latest. Failure to receive the funds back within that period, we will have no alternative than to apply appropriate sanctions against your Federation.”
A version of this report first appeared on RT.