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Nigeria Sports Minister moves to end IAAF cash row

Nigeria’s sports minister has sought to end a two-year stand-off with the IAAF by refunding money owed to athletics’ world governing body.

In May 2017, the IAAF mistakenly transferred $150,000 to Nigeria’s athletics body, the AFN, instead of $15,000, the regular annual grant to member associations. Sunday Dare, who took charge in August, has taken swift action to correct the long-standing issue.

“I have approved the release of funds to refund the IAAF overpayment wrongly credited to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria,” he wrote on twitter. “In a few days from now the funds should hit the account of the IAAF baring (sic) any interbank delays. With this Nigeria’s reputation is regained.”

In May, the IAAF wrote to the AFN to forewarn of them of ‘appropriate sanctions against your federation’ should the money not have been paid by the end of that month. One month later, former Sports Minister Solomon Dalung repaid half the amount – with Dare moving this week to fulfil the repayment. “The first tranche of the refund was made by the former Minister. I have only completed the refund because it is the right thing to do,” Dare added. The BBC has asked the IAAF to confirm the payment but has yet to hear back.

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