Nigeria Volleyball Federation president Musa Nimrod is optimistic that the country’s beach volleyball women’s team will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
The women’s beach volleyball team qualified for the final round of the qualifiers but the Olympics originally scheduled for this year was moved to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Nigeria has signified interest in hosting the final leg of the qualifiers but Nimrod told journalists that the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic will be a significant factor in determining who the Confederation of Africa Volleyball chooses as hosts.
Nimrod said the country will try to avoid, by all means, a repeat of four years ago when Egypt clinched the sole beach volleyball ticket in Nigeria.
“Nigeria intends to host the final round of the Tokyo 2021 Beach Volleyball women’s Olympic qualifiers and we do not want to miss the Olympic Games this time around like what happened four years ago. The nation failed to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics in Abuja where Egypt got the ticket in front of our home fans.
“The Federation is indicating interest to host the final round of the women’s qualification in the country but we hope not to commit silly mistakes for the second time on home soil.”
For the men’s team, the NVBF boss added the team have been instructed to maintain their sharpness pending when the situation allows for the staging of the second round of qualifiers in Mozambique.
“The men’s beach volleyball team should have played their own qualifiers in Mozambique last March but our players are still keeping fit during the COVID-19 lockdown because we told them to stay fit,” Nimrod said.
“Immediately sporting activities resume, the men’s team will be on their way to Mozambique for the second round of the Beach Volleyball Qualifiers”.
The Kaduna based sports administrator said volleyball activities will resume when the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development give clear directives on the resumption of sporting activities in the country.
“Players, coaches and referees are eager to return to the court but as law-abiding citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we must await directives from the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development,” Nimrod said.
“Immediately the embargo on sports is lifted the League Organising Committee of the Nigeria Volleyball Premier League will meet to deliberate when the league will resume.”