Nigeria has stepped in to host this year’s African Athletics Championships after intended host Algeria had to postpone staging the biennial event for a third time earlier this month because of COVID-19 concerns.
The event is now due to be held in Lagos from June 23 to 27, giving athletes the chance of achieving Tokyo 2020 qualifying standards ahead of the June 29 deadline
Sunday Dare, Nigeria's Minister of Youth and Sports and the President of Confederation of African Athletics, Kalkaba Malboum, met in Cairo to discuss moving the event - last held in the Nigerian city of Asaba in 2018 - to the Teslim Balogun stadium in Lagos.
Their meeting coincided with the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa General Assembly.
Lagos to host Africa! The Confederation of African Athletics (CAA), this evening announced Lagos as the host city for the 22nd edition of the African senior Championships. The Teslim Balogun stadium in Surulere has been selected as the venue for the biennial event. pic.twitter.com/Y4MDH8qj2D— Making of Champions (@MakingOfChamps) May 25, 2021
"The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the Confederation of African Athletics are fully committed and working in synergy towards the delivery of a world-class Championships," a joint statement read.
"In the coming days, more comprehensive details regarding the successful hosting of the Championships in Lagos, Nigeria will be made public."
The biennial event should have been held in 2020 but was rescheduled for June 1 to 5 in Oran, before being moved again to June 22 to 26 in Algiers before the Algerian Ministry of Youth and Sports said on May 14 that a further postponement was required "due to the health situation, marked by a resurgence in the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and the risk of circulation of new variants".
Organisers of the 2018 African Championships in Asaba received heavy criticism as some early events were cancelled because around 300 athletes from 20 countries had been stranded at Lagos Airport after a failure to organise domestic transfers.