Youth Games: Official faults age screening, calls for scientific methods

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Ibrahim Galadima, Chairman, Kano State Sports Commission on Thursday criticised the screening method adopted at the ongoing National Youth Games (NYG) in Ilorin, to ascertain age of the athletes.

He said the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports ought to have come up with a scientific method.

The former NFA Chairman was reacting to the disqualification of over 500 out of the 3,800 athletes that registered for the Games.

”It has been the major challenge of the Games from the first edition, and one will expect that the ministry would have come up with a better way of determining the age of athletes.

”Almost all the states are complaining about the method used, which resulted in large number of athletes that were disqualified.

”It is not acceptable because if this happens to Nigerian teams outside the country, we will be the first to raise alarm.

”That means something is wrong with the system, so somebody should sit and work out a better option for us.

“They should come up with a more acceptable way of ascertaining the athletes’ age,” Galadima said.

He commended the management and staff of University of Ilorin (Unilorin) for the facilities provided, but advised that other institutions should also be allowed to host the Games.

”University of Ilorin has done well in terms of facilities, but the ministry can do better by allowing other places/institutions to host.

”Keeping us in a particular state for many years won’t help sports development. Why can’t they go round the country and ensure that other states are given the hosting right.

”In as much as we appreciate what Unilorin is doing, we should do more by going round to ensure that other places host, so that the state government will be more committed.

”This is because they will want to ensure that facilities will be provided, which will lead to improvement of facilities in other states.

Unilorin has been hosting the Games since its second edition in 2016 and now in the 4th edition.