The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare has directed the onward payment of funds into the accounts of Nigerian athletes to provide some relief in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The payments, which commenced on Wednesday, are being drawn from the Athletes Relief Fund established about two weeks ago by the minister. A few sports philanthropists such as Remo Stars Chairman Kunle Soname and others have supported the ARF with donations for its take-off.

The sum of N50, 000 is being paid into the direct accounts of each of the athletes from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) account of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

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Over 200 athletes are expected to benefit from the fund.

It would be recalled that the Minister had floated a relief fund for the athletes whose source of earnings has ceased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic following the suspension of all major sporting events in the world. More donations are expected to flow into the relief fund.

The World Athletics governing body IAAF had two days ago taken a cue from the Nigerian example by floating a $500m appeal trust fund to assist athletes in the wake of the suspension of major sporting events around the world.