The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has countered the claim of barring Nigerian athletes from participating in the 15th FINA World Swimming Championships in Dubai.
LIB had reported that some of the athletes who arrived UAE from European Countries and not Nigeria, claimed they were not allowed to take part in the competition by authorities in the Middle-East Country on Thursday, December 16.
Some of the athletes who revealed they were treated unfairly, further disclosed that they withdrew from the competition after not being allowed to see Nigerian officials.
However, the UAE has denied any form of discrimination against athletes and national teams participating in the competition, as passed off in a statement released by the event’s local organizing committee (LOC).
Stating that part of its rule for the competition includes that “anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, including those in contact with someone who has tested positive, must quarantine immediately”, the UAE countered the claim of not enforcing the same rule on Western national teams, by insisting that the “rules have been applied to all national teams without exceptions”.
The statement read:
“Since the very beginning of the pandemic, the UAE has implemented health and safety procedures to protect and safeguard the lives and wellbeing of its citizens, residents, and visitors.
The event’s local organizing committee (LOC) remains steadfast in its commitment to adhere to these procedures, based on the local health authority regulations.
As per the safety protocols, anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, including those in contact with someone who has tested positive, must quarantine immediately. Following robust testing procedures at the World Swimming Championships 2021, the necessary rules were effectively adopted.
These rules have been applied to all national teams without exceptions. Any claims of discrimination against those who tested positive for COVID-19, including those in close contact with someone who did, are categorically untrue and without merit.”