Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

Nigerian international Chimezie Metu has attributed the misfortune of the African nation's athletes at the Tokyo Olympic Games to the poor handling by the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, as well as the Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC).

The Sacramento Kings forward discussed the difficulties of even competing at the Games, stressing the unfortunate developments in the Nigerian camp and how they affected all the athletes.

“I’d like to use this time to bring awareness and comment on the off-the-court things a lot of Nigerian athletes have had to go through in these Olympics,” he told Boston Globe.

“It’s extremely difficult to go out there and try to focus on the basketball game when you’re dealing with so much stuff off the court. For a lot of athletes that are here that represent Nigeria, our country, we’re ready to risk it all and put it on the line, but our government and the Olympic Committee of Nigeria, make it extremely difficult to go out there and just focus on performing on our sport.

“I’m not just talking about basketball. I’m talking about the track athletes. I’m pretty sure everybody has heard about the 10 track athletes that were disqualified and it had nothing to do with what they did. It was a lack of attention to detail and lack of empathy for the hard work that’s put in by us athletes by the Nigerian Olympic Committee as well as the government.”

“For 60-something athletes to fly halfway across the world and get disrespected and humiliated by our country, that’s something that I’m pretty sure none of us will stand for. I commend coach Mike Brown; he’s put a lot on the line for us.”

Metu's observations were reproduced on Twitter by Nigerian Federation's official account.

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