Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) stakeholders have concluded that wrestling events will not hold if the organisers of the event fail to procure new mats.
www.aclsports.com gathered that the host, Edo state plans to use old mats which do not meet up to the standard of the United World Wrestling (UWW).
A stakeholder who spoke on the condition of animosity told www.aclsports.com that Edo state does not have wrestling mats for the Greco Roman, Freestyle and women’s freestyle event.
He said, “Edo state is treating the health of both elite athletes and upcoming athletes with levity.
“As at today, there are no plans by the organizers to procure news mat. If this continues, the federation may direct all the wrestlers not to participate in this year’s National Sports Festival and that is a bad omen. Do not forget that wrestling in Nigeria has been consistent and always rescue the nation at the African Games, Commonwealth Games and other international tournaments.
“The National Sports Festival is our own Olympics and we have to do everything properly in order to avoid casualties. The festival will also be like a warm up program for the athletes who are preparing for the Olympic qualifiers next year”.
Another stakeholder said, “The health of the athletes should be the number one priority of the organisers and they have to make sure the athletes are not exposed to unhealthy environment. It is also sad that after the event, Edo state will not have any wrestling equipment if they remain adamant.
“I will advise the committee set up by the minister of sports, Sunday Dare to make the recommendation of mats to him”
He said for every national tournament across the world, the United World Wrestling (UWW) recommends new mats that have warranty.
The top official said, “Normally for competition of this magnitude, the United World Wrestling (UWW) recommends new wrestling mats that have warranty.
“Nigeria Wrestling Federation is one of the top federations in Africa and we cannot afford to go below standard practices. As I speak with you, we are unsure of the kind of mats that would be used at the National Sports Festival”.
Edo state needs two competition mats and one for warm up.