Africa Karate Federation Referees Commission Chairman Mr. Zitouni Metyout believes that Nigeria can grow to be one of the best Karate fighting nations on the continent but that more international exposure for the country’s Karatekas is needed to achieve that goal.
Mr. Metyout was in Nigeria to oversee officiating at the recently concluded 6th edition of the Zainab Saleh International Female Open Karate Championship
He also held a Referees Course for domestic and international referees and expressed hope that constant improvements recorded in Karate in Nigeria will soon see the country join the ranks of Africa’s premier Karate fighting nations.
“I see that the karate in Nigeria, year after year, it is better and better and better, and I hope that it would be one of the best karate in Africa, to go to the same level with Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal, there is many good countries and I hope that it will be more. We need more good level in Africa,” the Moroccan told busybuddiesng.com.
The leap to being listed among Africa’s best can, however, only be achieved, the Moroccan said, if Nigeria’s Karatekas regularly test themselves against the world’s best at international tournaments.
“They have to participate in the international championships, they have to move to go outside the country to participate at an international level. That is more important,” he said.
Mr. Metyout who is also a board member of the Referees Commission of the World Karate Federation was also full of praise for tournament organiser Hajiya Zainab Saleh and the idea of a female-only karate competition.
“It is a good idea to do a championship for only ladies. That’s what we need. We need to show our female in the continent. We need to give them the opportunity, and we need to give them the chance to be in and to be referees.”