Once upon a time, we could count the number of handball championships happening across the country due to lack of sponsorship and partnership, but all came to an end when Sam Ocheho became the President of Handball Federation of Nigeria. He swung into action and the federation bagged a five-year deal with Prudent Energy Limited as the title sponsor of the handball league.
However, all on end as the five-year deal elapses in 2023, although it is renewable.
No company, I repeat; no company wants to invest in an organisation or Federation that is ridden with crisis. We were in this country when football stakeholders were battling tooth and nail for the soul of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and how they lost major sponsors. AITEO, title sponsor of the Challenge Cup (oldest football competition in Nigeria) pulled out from sponsoring the competition. I can go on and on mentioning many National Sports Federations but I do not want to bore you.
Fast forward to handball; it is unfortunate some individuals for their selfless interests are fanning the embers of discord among the ever-peaceful handball family. Elections have come and gone but some disgruntled individuals are still fighting back because they could not seize power; I want you to know that ALL POWER BELONGS TO GOD.
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We have been seeing court injunctions and hearing flying everywhere on social media with an ex-international spearheading the course. An African adage says “The leaf that is dancing on the water, the drummer is beneath the water”.
I am not sure those who are trying to cause an artificial crisis in the Handball Federation of Nigeria know what they are doing. When two elephants fight, the grass suffers and the grass in this illustration are the players. No private sponsor will put his or her money where there is bad press. It implies that the Handball Federation of Nigeria might not get her sponsorship deal renewed if this hullabaloo continues.
If the deal is off, there will be no title sponsor; handball will suffer for years before bagging another sponsor, the players will become jobless, states will see reasons not to sponsor their teams to the league and the livelihood of players terminated.
Some of these men trying to cause confusion in the system have benefited so much from handball but cannot give back to the sport. Handball has taken them to countries they have never dreamt of going but want the younger players to beg from hand to mouth. The ball is in the court of all the players in this country; to rise up and condemn whoever is trying to disrupt the Prudent Energy Handball League.
A word is enough for the wise.
It’s quite unfortunate….
Wishing the president and her members the very best….