The Nigeria Taekwondo Federation has written to World Taekwondo seeking approval for the postponement of the proposed Nigeria International Open for three months.
The Technical Director, Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, Engineer Chika Chukwumerije told aclsports.com that the proposed day is 8th to 10th February, 2018.
He said the decision was taken to enable many athletes across Africa to finish processing their licence.
The 2008 Beijing Olympics bronze medallist 50 persons from 8 countries had registered before the close of deadline.
He said, “The World Taekwondo ranked Nigeria International Open has been postponed for another three months, and we have proposed to World Taekwondo the date of 8th to 10th February, 2018.
“This strategic decision was taken to enable many of our athletes in Nigeria and across the West Africa region to finish processing their World Taekwondo Global Membership System Licence, which is a compulsory requirement to be able to register for any World Taekwondo ranked event”, he added.
Chukwumerije said, “So far, 50 persons from 8 countries (India, Ethiopia, Senegal, Ghana, Congo, Mozambique, Mali and Nigeria) had registered before the close of deadline, but we are aware that more than 150 persons (including so many Nigerian competitors) that wanted to participate in the event were unable to complete their registration due to their inability to get their valid GMS License on time”.
The former African Champion said it will be said for the country to host her first ever World Taekwondo event and no elite athletes from the country benefitting from it.
He revealed that other countries registered quickly because they have these documents and have been going for internationals.
“Imagine having our very first World Taekwondo event and all the World Ranking Points goes to mostly foreign teams plus Nigeria does not place in a commendable place on the Medal table because of non-participation. To this end, it made no sense to host an event that does not majorly benefit our Nigeria Taekwondo community.
He added, “This is why the decision was taken to shift the event by three months so a lot of athletes and coaches in Nigeria and West Africa can duly complete their World Taekwondo Licensing process, which they are now being forced to do by virtue of the international status of the event”.
“Other countries registered quickly because they have these documents and have been going for internationals. So far, we have helped about 100 Nigerians through the process of application and we intend to double that number before the deadline of 20th January 2019 so they can duly register for the event. This is what we must do to force our Nigeria Taekwondo community to catch up with the rest of Africa and the world”.