Funding issues force Africans to abandon training plans

Several African countries have pulled out of pre-Olympic training camps in Britain at the last minute because they are unable to pay the fees. Senegal, Uganda, Guinea-Bissau, The Gambia and Mozambique are among the nations which have reneged on agreements to use the UK's training facilities before the Games.

Locog, the Games organisers, pledged to pay up to £25,000 to any Olympic or Paralympic team who did their training in the UK, but were prepared to pay out only afterwards. This has left poorer nations struggling to find the funds up front.

The lost time acclimatising to British weather and the missed opportunity to use international-standard facilities could put them at a disadvantage to other athletes. The no-shows will also be a blow to Locog, who planned the camps around Britain to help spread the legacy of the Games beyond London.

The Ugandan team were meant to be in Coventry before the Games but will now go straight to the Olympic Village on 22 July. A spokesman said: "There would have been a lot of expense involved… They all wanted to go to Coventry."

Gambian athletes had been expected in York, but Momodou Demba, chef de mission at Gambia's National Olympic Committee (NOC), said: "Unfortunately it did not work out… Locog promise to take care of the bill, but the fact that we would have to put up the money first then be reimbursed does not go down well. It's quite expensive."

Burundi never took up the offer of a British training camp because they knew they would not have the funds. Tharcisse Harerimana, executive secretary for the Burundi NOC, said: "If Locog had paid in advance then we could have come, but we had a meeting with them and they told us it was not possible to have this money."

Paralympic teams from Niger, the Central African Republic, The Gambia and Ghana are also understood to be abandoning pre-Games training in Britain for funding reasons.

A spokeswoman for Locog said: "We've always made it plain we'd pay at the end so it eliminates fraud and accusations of impropriety."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee