Nigeria quits Youth Olympics over Ebola

Beijing - Nigeria has withdrawn from the Youth Olympics in the Chinese city of Nanjing, state media reported Saturday, as four African nations battle the worst outbreak of the Ebola virus in decades.

Nigeria's decision was confirmed by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach in Nanjing, China's official Xinhua news agency said.

"We feel sad for the athletes as it will be extremely difficult for them," Bach said of the Nigerians, Xinhua reported. "They already felt the excitement of living in the Village and now they have to leave - that's a very difficult task."

The IOC had said on Friday athletes from Ebola-hit countries would be barred from competing in pool events and combat sports.

The decision, which affects three athletes whose names and nationalities were not identified, was made "to ensure the safety of all those participating", the IOC and Chinese organisers said.

According to the Youth Olympics' website, there were a total of 25 people on the team lists of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria, the west African countries affected by the outbreak.

The Youth Olympic Games begin Saturday in Nanjing, China's former capital, and run until 28 August.

They will feature more than 3,700 competitors aged 15 to 18, some of whom hope to build towards a place in the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

The World Health Organisation said on Friday the death toll from the worst epidemic of the disease in four decades has climbed to 1 145 in the afflicted countries.

Read more on: china nigeria west africa ebola
Mileka Cyn 2014-08-16 03:06:33 PM
Its sad but a good decision to avoid fingure pointing and blaming each other. Prevention is better than cure
Jakkals Rooies 2014-08-16 04:03:26 PM
For some of these athletes there might not be a next time. I feel sorry for them.
Thombela Ka Mjoli 2014-08-16 04:57:45 PM
I'm so scared,becoz all these problematic countries are flocking to S Africa
Harry Smuts 2014-08-16 05:23:23 PM
this is really an insensitive decision.... Those athletes have been there for a while already, thus they would've shown symptoms if affected, why are the not tested as a precautionary method and cleared to compete.
Motofogo Mulilo 2014-08-16 06:10:32 PM
Thats an overreaction by Nigeria. Wonder if they will do same thing for their football team.
Michael McN 2014-08-21 07:30:03 PM
I don't know. If the athletes aren't sick and have not been in outbreak areas in the past three weeks, why bar them?