Cameroon is hosting the African Athletics Championship for the second time after the 1996 event in Yaounde. The 2024 edition came with many setbacks for the hosts who are faced with a disgruntled public that has criticized the organization.

With the inconducive atmosphere that has been felt from the start of the competition on Friday, June 21, authorities have released multiple communiques addressing the situation.

Most criticisms have come from reactions made by some of the athletes expressing dissatisfaction with organization.

In the communique released by the Cameroon Athletics Federation, its President Motombi Mbome Emmanuel, said the information circulated about the competition is not correct. He said comments made by athletes during interviews are being deformed to convey a tarnishing message about the competition.

The low attendance, technical limitations at the Japoma stadium, and transportation problems among others have been the main issues raised.

Though denouncing the spread of ‘fake news’, t
he authorities have acknowledged that unusual challenges have been faced in the organization of the competition in Douala.

The venue initially had to be the Douala Reunification Stadium but it was moved to Japoma because rehabilitation works at the Bepanda stadium could not be completed on time.

Sports Minister Prof. Narcisse Mouelle Kombi, reiterated that with the adjustments made a week before the start of the competition, all necessary measures were taken for the accommodation, feeding and transportation of athletes and officials. The situation seems to be different.

The Technical Director of the Confederation of African Athletics, Aziz Daouda, apologized for the setbacks, urging athletes to ‘understand that there are difficulties in Africa. The standards which they are used to abroad are not the same here’ he said.

About 1164 athletes from 50 African countries and six visiting countries (Andora, Canada, Spain, France, Poland, and Turkey) are participating in the 23rd edition of the African Athletics C
hampionship. The one-week event will end on June 26.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

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