Lagos - Some 24 athletes and 10 officials who were to represent the country at the IAAF World Junior Championships may miss the event as the Spanish Embassy in Lagos has denied the athletes visas to participate in the competition.
The event, which was scheduled for Barcelona, is to run from July 10 – July 15.
A statement released in Lagos on Monday by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) spokesman, Duro Ikhazuagbe said the federation lodged the visa applications a fortnight ago with the Spanish Embassy in Lagos.
It claimed that the officials of the embassy had "kept dribbling the athletes and officials".
According to the statement, the team was scheduled to travel on Sunday to catch up with the event, which started on Monday, but the trip had to be shelved because the visa were yet to be issued.
It said officials of the embassy insisted that the visas could not be issued because the officers, who were supposed to stamp the passports, were not on their seats.
The athletes and their officials were then asked to report on Tuesday, without any definite assurances they would be issued the visas.
"We gave them our passports two weeks ago. We were supposed to travel on Saturday, but they assured us that visas will be issued by Monday, only for them to fail," the officials said.
"What kind of injustice is this? After all our training we have been told we can't travel," said Maria Osifo, one of the coaches to accompany the team on the trip.
Coach Yusuf Ali, a former long jumper, expressed disappointment at the decision of the Spanish Embassy to deny the athletes travel visas.