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Top athletes stage sit-in to protest graft

Top athletes stage sit-in to protest graft

Feb 16, 2015 - 20:26

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Three top taekwondo athletes, including Rohullah Nikpai, the two-time Olympic bronze medalist, on Monday joined a sit-in staged against corruption in the Taekwando Federation in Kabul, as two female athletes resigned in a show of solidarity with the protesting colleagues.

Naeematullah Habibi, a national level taekwondo coach, said Nikpai’s protest was aimed at top echelons of Afghanistaninfo-icon’s sportsinfo-icon involved in corruption and misusing funds meant for supporting athletes.

During the past eight months, he said, the athletes had not been delivered proper food and other necessary items.

Humaira Mohammadi and Farahnaz Yaqoobi, two national level taekwondo players, resigned from the national team to express solidarity toward their colleagues.

Mohammadi, who has been playing on national level for the last eight years, said until the authorities did not pay attention to their grievances, they would not continue with sports. “Our top athletes are in the cold tent, but the president of the Olympic committee is sleeping in his warm bed.”

Farahnaz Yaqoobi also said the committee head was not an athlete and had been hired to the top post based on personal relations.

Fahim Hashemi, Olympic Committee head, told Pajhwok Afghan News he did not interfere in the affairs of the taekwondo federation.

“The athletes are pressurising me to sack Ziaul Haq Bakhshi, head of the federation. I don’t have this authority because he is an elected head.”He urged the athletes to meet with the federation’s officials and resolve their issues.


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