THE WEST Africa University Games (WAUG), which kicked off last weekend in Accra, has been hit by controversies, with visiting athletes complaining of lack of sufficient accommodation.
Speaking to DAILY GUIDE SPORTS in an exclusive interview, Professor B. K. Ahunu of the University of Ghana, who is Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for WAUG, admitted that there were organizational problems in the on-going games, adding that initially, his outfit had set up 12 committees, among which was one for sponsorship, which had failed to deliver.
He revealed that despite the problems, overall patronage had been good, pointing out that this year's games registered 1,727 athletes and officials, instead of the expected 1,500 which was quite a large number.
The professor intimated that some observers were in the country from Illorin, Nigeria, hosts for the next edition.
“We were trying to secure accommodation for all of them but a few days to the games, we had only 350 beds out of the 1,500 promised by our hostel manager. We are aware that some uncertainties have characterized the event somehow. We have put that behind,” he lamented.
Professor Ahunu said his outfit would have been better prepared to receive the contingents if the games had been postponed to May or June.
He disclosed that the LOC encountered accommodation problems because the new hostel under construction was not quite complete and he believed by May or June it could have been ready.
On his part, Tantougoute Herve of Benin Republic University explained that since the arrival of his country's delegation in Accra, they had not been able to get accommodation and that each of the participating athletes and officials paid $200 before getting their accreditation for the games, which money was meant for accommodation and feeding for competitors.
According to Mr. Herve their athletes and those of other countries such as Burkina Faso and Senegal had been passing the nights at the University of Legon volleyball court.
In a related development, Judo competition for Men and Women in minus 100 kilograms to minus 63 kilograms ended last Monday.
Medals and certificates for deserving winners were presented to them yesterday as 18 participating universities fetched 58 medals in all.
Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) of Nigeria emerged overall winners with 4 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze medals, followed by Amadu Bello University (ABU) of Nigeria with 3 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze medals.
Others were University of Cheikh Anta Diop De Dakar (UCAD) of Senegal in third position with 3 gold, one silver and 5 bronze, and in fourth place was Bayero University of Kanu (BUK) of Nigeria with 2 gold, 2 silver and one bronze medals, while Imo State University of Nigeria placed fifth with 2 gold.
The rest were Uniport of Nigeria and University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso placing 6th with one gold, one silver and one bronze each, while University of Ibadan, Nigeria had one silver and 3 bronze to place eighth.
By Pierre Toto