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AFN president appeals to U.S. Embassy over top athlete’s visa

11 April 2016, 16:54

Lagos - The President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Solomon Ogba, on Monday appealed to the U.S. Consulate to issue a visa to a Nigerian top athlete to attend the Penn Relay.

Ogba, apparently worried over the delay in granting the visa, disclosed to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the athlete is Patience Okon George.

The Penn Relay is scheduled for April 28 to April 30 in Philadelphia, U.S.

He urged the embassy to grant her visa for Nigeria to have strong team to the event.

He however said that the embassy had informed the AFN that the delay was due to administrative process, adding that the body’s worry was because the competition was part of Nigeria’s Olympics preparation.

Also read: Early preparations, key to successful Olympics outing, says Coach

“Till now, she has not received her visa and we have competitions coming up. They have been telling us that it is due to administrative process.

“To me, it is taking forever and she is one of our strong athletes for the relays.

“They should please grant her the visa so that the Nigerian team will be strong enough to make an impact at the relays and other competitions,’’ he said.

Ogba also said the delay did not allow her to participate in the IAAF World Indoor Championships which held from March 17 to March 20 in Portland, U.S.

He said that the names of the athletes for the Penn Relays would not be released until all of them had been cleared.

Okon George is among the 4x100m team that won a bronze medal at the 2014 World Relay in Bahamas.

She is also among the quarter milers who clinched a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

Okon George also won a bronze medal in the 400m at the African Championships held in Marrakesh, Morocco.


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