Allegations of age cheating, poor organization shrouds Milo Inter Secondary School Championship in Kano
By Abdulgafar Oladimeji
Allegations of age cheating have continued to enveloped the 22nd edition of the annual inter secondary school Savannah conference Milo basketball championship ongoing in Kano.
A major stakeholder who spoke with our correspondent , on Tuesday at Kofar Mata Indoor sports hall venue of the championship expressed dismay over what he described as poor coordination.
Our checks revealed that complaints of overage cheating have marred the cadet championship, the competiting states have continue to trade allegations of age cheating against one another.
A basketball coach attached to one of the participating state lamented saying “ this is the worst Milo championship ever held.
“the organizers have done a bad job, they carried out screening, some players were weed out as over age, but surprisingly, these set of players find their way back to play for their states, this led to the messy state of the competition.
Our correspondent gathered that a top official of the School Sports Federation shielded the players from his state, who were discovered to be over aged from been penalized for their ilicit acts, as the rules implies .
Our source said “ it is sad, for very senior official from the school sports federation to support what lead to the whole problem, players from his states were discovered to be over aged.
“they were screened out, but they played against their opponents, while Yobe state won against Jigawa and it was discovered they also featured over age players, some players were discovered to have been recruited from higher institution.
“some of the overaged players were former students of the schools, even when the rules is clear that this competition is specifically for students not above SS2 class, the spirit of the competition is been worked against by trying to win at all cost.
Another impeccable source said “ I have been involved in this championship for over 15 years as one of the back room staff.
Our source alleged that “this is the worst Milo championship, see, just look at the halls , they are not branded, the souvenirs for the player are not made available to them, the tradition use that from day one the players usually have enough Milo drink, gift item , quality kit, none is available, something must have gone wrongs.
“from Monday till today not even a cup of Milo have been served to anybody, not even the players, not the officials, not a single sachet of Milo was given at the venue.
“in fact what is more surprising is the absence of the usual side attractions and entertainment that usually accompany the championship is missing, I maintain that this the worst Milo championship.
The deputy director of sports , Kano state ministry of education, Kabiru Shehu accused most states of featuring over aged players .
He alleged that in exception of Kano all other participating states were parading players that are over aged.
Our correspondent reports that each of the participating states loss minimum of three players during the general screening exercise , they were found to be over aged.
The monitor of the Savvanah Conference inter secondary schools championship in Kano, Godwin Adagbo confirmed that the organizers have received formal protest bordering on the use of over aged players by some states.
He said” the issue of over age are still allegations, we have received protests from some states, we have set up the committee and by tomorrow they will report back to us on the matter
Speaking on the non provision of souvenirs and poor kitting of thee players , he said that the problem was caused by flight hitches, which he said is responsible for the failure to transports the items to Kano.
He said the organizers have taken note of the hitches that were recorded at the Kano championship, noting that they would ensure the problems are addressed prior to the next championship slated for Ilorin, in Kwara state.
Adagbo pleaded for understanding saying the director of sports, ministry of education, who is responsible for supervising the general organization of the championship is new in office.
He said “ the hospitality in Kano has been too good, we must appreciate the people of the state,, in the area of organization there is still room for improvement.
In his general assessment of the ongoing championship, Adagbo said the level of performance by the players falls below expectation , explaining that this could be attributed to the long absence from the game that is caused by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.