Ibrahim Yahuza, an international taekwondo referee, on Tuesday faulted the criteria for the screening of athletes at the ongoing 4th National Youth Games in Ilorin.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Games meant for athletes aged 15 and below, is holding at the University of Ilorin, from September 7 to September 17.
Yahuza told NAN in Lagos that it was inappropriate for the screening committee of the event to use height as a standard to determine the age of athletes.
He said: “The screening is affecting the activities of this year’s Games and I am not happy about it, because the participating states were well-informed of the age requirement.
“The director of grassroots sports in the ministry of sports emphasised on it at the zonal eliminations which guided the associations in the selection of their athletes for the Games.”
According to the taekwondo referee, many of the young athletes have rapid growth which makes them look older than their real age; so, the height should not be used as a screening yardstick.
He said that the situation had killed the enthusiasm of a lot of taekwondoists from the states who had registered for the Games.
Yahuza said: “Taekwondo is a disciplined sport. We are doing everything to live by example and portray a good image of our sport because of the weight category involved.”
NAN reports that no fewer than 500 athletes who had registered for the ongoing event were disqualified over alleged falsification of age.