A vaccination for COVID-19 has been made a mandatory entry requirement for athletes and participants at an upcoming major sports event in Nigeria.
Organisers of the Nigerian National Sports Festival in Edo State, due to begin on Friday (April 2), have said all 8,000 people set to attend the event must have been vaccinated no later than 12 days before the start of competition.
The rules mean athletes who have not received a jab, or refuse to have one, will be prevented from competing.
Athletes and officials will have to present proof of vaccination in order to be allowed to enter the Athletes’ Village, Organising Committee chairman and Deputy Governor in Edo state Philip Shaibu has said.
It is thought to be one of the first examples of a “vaccination passport” being included as part of the entry conditions for a sports event.
The COVID-19 vaccination is a prerequisite for athletes who want to compete at the Nigerian National Sports Festival ©Getty Images
Organisers have said participants must also be tested for COVID-19 72 hours prior to their arrival.
The rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine has started in Nigeria following confusion over its deployment.
Sportspeople receiving COVID-19 vaccinations has been a contentious topic of late, with some countries refusing to allow their competitors to jump the queue ahead of priority groups.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has claimed a “significant” number of Olympic teams set to compete at this year’s postponed Tokyo 2020 Games have already been vaccinated.
The IOC has insisted it is not mandatory for athletes to be vaccinated before the Games and even those who have received the jab will still have to follow the stringent rules set to be in place to reduce the risk posed by COVID-19.