There are strong indications of Nigeria wrestlers may not participate at the 2017 World Wrestling Championships due to funding issues.
Nigeria intends to feature six wrestlers at world championships that is scheduled to begin on August 21st till 26th in Paris, France, while others are likely to feature at the Commonwealth Games.
Expressing his frustration in a statement, the President, Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Dan Igali says the funding issue is becoming an unbearable burden.
”We go through this all the time. There is no tournament we attend without overcoming some financial burden. Right now, we have athletes in camp in Yenegoa, without money, it wouldn’t have been possible. We need quick help, otherwise we will struggle at the world championships. We are hoping to hear from the Ministry of Youth and Sports soon. I’m afraid sports is going to die in Nigeria. How do they expect amateur sports to survive without adequate government funding”, Igali said in a voicenote to ACLSports.com.
Igali revealed that the wrestlers are currently camping in Yenegoa, Bayelsa state but the preparation programme is slow because the federation cannot fund it alone.
After winning six gold and two silver medals at the last edition of the African Championships in Morocco, Nigerian wrestlers were hoping to sustain the momentum by putting up a strong performance in Paris.
“But with zero attention from the ministry of Youth and Sports, the athletes are not certain they will be competing at the world event,” the president said.
For some countries, the tournament provides a rare opportunity to monitor opponents and improve before the Commonwealth Games.