The Minister of Sport and Youth Development, Solomon Dalung has blamed poor performance of Nigeria athletes in sporting competitions to negative media publicity.
Dalung who disclosed this on Saturday during the Okpekpe 10 kilometre international road race said such development played out during Rio Olympics.
“Success and winning does not only rest with government but all encompassing, government can invest billions in the training of athletes in order to win but negative publicity of the athletes can destroy such effort, investment and hindered athletes from performing.”
He said, “we lost a medal in Rio Olympic because of negative publicity, we have a wonderful athletes that we invested in but at the dying minute, he read a negative story about the Nigeria athlete and she wept all through the night and went to the track and lost.”
Dalung noted that effective support for athletes by all can either bring success or hindered it, saying it is not only about government but how the environment and people prepare to support athletes.
“British athlete took last position in Rio but the BBC kept running commentary on her till she finish and such gesture would challenge such athlete to do more for the her country next time,” he said.
He frowned at a situation when athletes who have given their best for the country are brought down by condemnation and negative publicity, advising that we must begin to support our athletes and government for Nigeria to move on.