24 athletes’ Africa hopes dashed as broke ASA won’t send team

2014-03-12 16:19

Athletics South Africa (ASA) will not send a team to the African Cross Country Championships that takes place in Uganda on Sunday, says the federation.

“As the necessary funds could not be acquired in time, the ASA ad hoc committee was compelled to make the decision that the SA cross-country team of 24 members will not participate in the CAA Africa Championships,” ASA interim board chairperson Daan du Toit said today.

ASA is in dire financial straits and could not raise funds for plane tickets although the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) is meeting national federations halfway with accommodation and transport during the continental competition.

National champions Precious Mashele and Nolene Conrad were among the prominent cross-country runners who had qualified.

The full squad would have been made up of senior and junior male and females as well as boys and girls.

The competition was doomed from the start after the regional finals were cancelled by CAA last month in South Africa because of the leadership dispute at ASA.

However, Du Toit said the decision by ASA not to dispatch a team to the East African country “should not affect participation of SA teams in other forthcoming international events as financial support by the International Association of Athletics Federations is available”.

This is not the first time ASA has not sent a team to a continental showpiece.

Last year, the beleaguered athletics controlling body failed to send teams to the inaugural African Youth Championships in Nigeria in March and the African Race Walking Championships in Mauritius in April.

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