Ibrahim Yahuza, a certified international taekwondo referee, on Tuesday faulted the criteria for the screening of athletes for the 4th edition of the ongoing National Youth Games (NYG) in Ilorin.
The Games, meant for athletes from 15 years and below, is ongoing at the University of Ilorin, from Sept. 7 to Sept. 17.
Yahuza, speaking in Lagos, insisted that it was inappropriate for the screening committee of the event, to use height as a standard to determine the age of athletes.
“The screening is affecting the general activities of this year’s Games and I am not happy about it, because the participating states were well-informed of the age requirement.
“The director of grassroots sports in the ministry of sports emphasised on it at the zonal eliminations, which guided the associations in the selection of their athletes for the Games,” he said.
According to the taekwondo referee, most of these young athletes have rapid growth which makes them look older than their real age; so, the height should not be used as a screening yardstick.
He said that the situation had killed the enthusiasm of a lot of taekwondo athletes from the states, who had registered for the Games.
“Taekwondo is a disciplined sport.We are doing everything to live by example and portray a good image of our sport, because of the weight category involved.”
No fewer than 500 athletes, who had registered for the ongoing event, were disqualified over alleged falsification of age.