President of the United World Wrestling (Africa) Fouad Meskout has expressed satisfaction with the facilities he saw in Port Harcourt during an inspection tour on Wednesday.
The ‘Garden City’ is bidding to host the 2018 Africa Senior Wrestling Championships and Meskout was in town in company of Nigeria Wrestling Federation boss Daniel Igali, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Youth and Sports in Rivers State Michael Nnodi, President, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) Honour Sirawoo and other dignitaries/stakeholders, to inspect facilities earmarked for the tournament.
After visiting some hotels and the Indoor Sports Hall of the Alfred Diette-Spiff Civic Center-proposed venue of the competition, the Moroccan who spoke via the aid of an interpreter equally expressed his delight on the reception accorded him in Port Harcourt.
“(Port Harcourt) is a wonderful city, they are a wonderful people,” Meskout remarked.
“I am very impressed with the infrastructures I’ve seen on ground in the town and then, the warmth of the people.
“They are a people who are very welcoming and heartwarming and I’m very happy. I’m deeply touched by the reception.
“I am in love with Africa now. The first time I am coming to Nigeria, I’m impressed, very proud of what I have seen on ground here in Nigeria.”
A decision on the next host will be made by the Executive Committee of the United World Wrestling (Africa) on 18 August.
Tunis – the capital of Tunisia is the other bidding City for the competition, however, Meskout says Port Harcourt has a very good chance of winning the bid to host the annual tourney.
“As an inspector from the International (Wrestling) Federation, I have to be neutral-I can’t take sides. But as an expert and a responsible African, after going round the hotels and this wonderful hall (Indoor Sports Hall of the Civic Center) here, I think Nigeria has a very good case and a very good file.
“Besides, Tunisia, Morocco and other Northern African countries have organized (the competition) several times while Nigeria is bidding to host it for the first time in history.
“Based on all these facts, the Executive Committee of the International Federation is going to decide.
“As a Moroccan and President of the United World Wrestling (Africa), I’m personally proud of what I have seen here in Nigeria (Port Harcourt),” an impressed Meskout stated.
Meskout rounded-off his inspection tour with a courtesy call on Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, who promised to do all within his powers to ensure that Port Harcourt hosts the tournament.
As part of his visit to the country, the Moroccan administrator is expected to pay a courtesy call on Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung in Abuja on Thursday.
The 2018 African Senior Wrestling Championships will take place in February next year in Port Harcourt or Tunis.