Why Nigerian athletes weren’t allowed to partake in world swimming championships -UAE

The United Arab Emirates has claimed that Nigerian athletes and officials were stopped from participating in the FINA World Swimming Championships holding in the country over COVID-19.

UAE, in a statement through the local organising committee of the competition, hinted that a member of the Nigerian delegation tested positive for COVID-19.

For this reason, all other athletes from Nigeria were asked to quarantine and subsequently withdrawn from the competition.

But the claims by the UAE are contrary to the narratives of the Nigerian athletes and officials.

The PUNCH had reported that Nigeria athletes were denied access to participate in the competition amid diplomatic row among the two countries.

The athletes also explained that none of them had contact with the official that reportedly tested positive.

According to them, when an athlete from Britain tested positive, other members of the team were allowed to participate.

Though the athletes alleged discrimination, UAE denied any form of discrimination against athletes and national teams participating in the competition.

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The statement read, “Since the very beginning of the pandemic, the UAE has implemented health and safety procedures to protect and safeguard the lives and wellbeing of its citizens, residents and visitors.

“The event’s local organizing committee (LOC) remains steadfast in its commitment to adhere to these procedures, based on the local health authority regulations.

“As per the safety protocols, anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, including those in contact with someone who has tested positive, must quarantine immediately. Following robust testing procedures at the World Swimming Championships 2021, the necessary rules were effectively adopted.

“These rules have been applied to all national teams without exceptions. Any claims of discrimination against those who tested positive for COVID-19, including those in close contact with someone who did, are categorically untrue and without merit.”