February 7, 2017 By Sahr Morris Jnr
Sierra Leone Athletics Association (SLAA) has pulled-out from hosting both the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) senior and U-20 Athletics championship.
The country’s athletics body’s decision to turn-down the hosting opportunity came almost at the 72 hours expiration grace period given by the President of Athletics Region Zone II Federation, Momar Mbaye.
According to the SLAA president, the decision to pull out from hosting the competition at the tail end was due to the ongoing rehabilitation of the country’s National Stadium which was the planned venue for the competition.
“The Sierra Leone Athletics Association in consultation with the National Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Sports and National Sports Council has come to the conclusion that we cannot host the tournament due to the ongoing rehabilitation of the National Stadium.The Association will be in place to host subsequent tournament after the rehabilitation this year. The Athletics Association regrets the inconvenience this might cause,” the SLAA boss stated in a correspondence sent to the Zone II President.
In July 2016, President of Athletics Region Zone II, Momar Mbye revealed that Sierra Leone has been given the opportunity to host the regional tournament subject to confirmation from the country’s sports ministry.
The country was given 15 days period early January 2017 and the Zone II President in his message stated: “Dear President, I would like to invite you to officially confirm the decision to organize the above subjects. You should mention on your letter the acceptance of your Department to sustain and patronize the events.”
Meanwhile, a further 72 hours grace period was given to the SLAA on Friday February 3 to confirm the hosting of the championship.