Team Nigeria officials reportedly collected the phone in bulk for all the athletes representing the country
Athletes and officials of Team Nigeria at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are reportedly at loggerheads over phones given to athletes from each participating country by Samsung.
Samsung, who are one of the major sponsors of the global sporting events, gave a phone – Samsung S20+ 5G Olympics Games Athlete Edition – which costs over $1,000, to each athlete competing at the Olympics.
The procedure for collecting the phone was that each athlete was meant to go to the Samsung office in Tokyo, scan with the Olympics accreditation tag and collect the phone, according to The PUNCH newspaper.
But Team Nigeria officials reportedly collected the phone in bulk for all the athletes representing the country.
Trouble started in the Team Nigeria camp on Wednesday when the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) disqualified 10 Nigerian athletes from competing in the track and field events of the 2020 Olympics after failing to meet anti-doping requirements.
A source in Tokyo, who spoke with the newspaper on the condition of anonymity, said the officials failed to give the 10 disqualified athletes their Samsung phones.
“Each athlete at the Olympics is entitled to one Samsung phone each. All they need to do is go to the Samsung office, scan their accreditation cards and get their phones.
“But the Nigerian delegation, through a very senior ministry official, went to the Samsung office and took all the phones for Team Nigeria athletes. Now the athletes went to meet the official and he said, ‘You are not competing, you can’t get a phone.’
“But that’s not the rule, the rule says as long as you are an accredited Olympic athlete, you are meant to get a phone, it’s your right. But they are holding the phone, they are not giving the athletes because of their incompetence at not making the athletes compete.
“It’s the incompetence of the federation and the ministry, who should have done the right thing by making sure that their three out of 10 out-of-competition tests is complete,” he told The PUNCH.
An athlete told our correspondent, “If we don’t get our phones, we will protest.”