Tuesday, November 12, 2019
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Exclusive: IAAF confirm receipt of missing money from Nigeria

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Nigerian Sports Minister Sunday Dare, right, signed off on the payment last month ©Twitter

Nigeria has refunded in full a payment it mistakenly received from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), ending a long-running saga which sparked a crisis at the country’s national governing body.

A spokesperson for the IAAF confirmed receipt of the $65,000 (£51,000/€59,000) which remained outstanding.

Nigerian Sports Minister Sunday Dare claimed last month that he had approved the refund to the IAAF and the money eventually arrived in the banking account of the worldwide organisation after a short delay.

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) owed the IAAF a total of $130,000 (£102,000/€118,000).

The IAAF had erroneously paid the AFN $150,000 (£117,000/€136,000), instead of the annual grant of $15,000 (£11,700/€13,400) it gives to its Member Federations.

The remaining balance has proved a bone of contention between the IAAF and authorities in Nigeria, who had made several promises to repay it.

Former Sports Minister Solomon Dalung is thought to have paid half of the outstanding amount in May, shortly after the IAAF warned Nigeria would incur sanctions if it was not returned in full.

Dare revealed in a post on Twitter in October that he had sent the remaining half of the money, but the IAAF only confirmed it had landed in its bank account this week.

In August last year, Dalung supposedly pledged to immediately sign off the repayment of half the missing amount.

The money has been a huge issue for the AFN and led to the arrest of secretary-general Amaechi Akawu by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission in Nigeria last week.

Akawu was detained on suspicion of misappropriation of the $130,000 before later being released.

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