Some of the coaches at the ongoing Nigeria University Games (NUGA) Games at the Federal University of Agriculture in Makurdi (UAM) are lamenting the “poor state’’ of facilities at the venues.
A cross-section of the coaches told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Makurdi that the facilities were either not completed or in bad shape.
They questioned the level of preparedness of the institution when it was granted the hosting rights about four years ago.
Raphael Aghoghovwia, a coach with Delta State University (DELSU), said the football pitch was “rough and hurriedly constructed and will hurt my athletes’’.
He, however, stated his commitment to the Games by saying his athletes would participate no matter the state of facilities, saying he was sure of winning a gold medal in football.
“We have prepared very well for the tournament. We played friendlies with different clubsides before coming for this competition.
“My university has not won NUGA gold medal in the football competition, but we are determined to change the records by winning this time around.
“It is unfortunate that the pitch is poorly constructed and will injure most of our players, but we just hope that the organisers will talk to the management of Aper Aku Stadium so that the finals of the football match would be played there.”
Commenting on the football fixtures drawn on Friday night, he said his team would play in group D with University of Ilorin and Lagos State University.
Also complaining, Anthonia Chukudi, a table tennis coach of the Nnamdi Azikwe University, regretted that the facilities were just about 40 per cent completed.
Chukudi said this should not have been since UAM won the hosting rights over fours years ago and had no excuse for the poor facilities.
She disclosed that Makurdi Club, which is the table tennis competition venue, had only two tables with one already soaked with rains.
Reacting to their claims, the Director of Sports at the UAM, Stephen Awen, said the coaches were entitled to their opinion.
He pointed out that the facilities had been certified okay by the NUGA technical team headed by Prof Nick Igbokwe of the University of Ile- Ife.
Awen explained that the venue for table tennis and badminton, earlier scheduled to be held at the club, had been changed.
He said the games would now be played in the Sports Complex Hall of the institution.(NAN)