The Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) is hopeful of eventually sending athletes to the 2019 African Senior Wrestling Championships in Tunisia later this month after receiving ‘verbal commitment’ from the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The NWF failed to register majority of the 20 athletes it intends to take the continental showpiece in Hammamet due to lack of funds as at 5th March, the deadline for entry into the competition.
NWF President Hon. Daniel Igali revealed that after getting assurances from the Sports Ministry to sponsor the team to the African Championships, he will seek an extension to the registration deadline from the Tunisian Wrestling Federation.
“I spoke with the Permanent Secretary of the Sports Ministry (Adesola Olusola) and he made a verbal commitment that the Ministry will sponsor 18 athletes to the competition,” Igali disclosed.
“The onus now lies on the federation to source for funds to enable us get the licenses of the athletes and their accommodation fees.
“We are in a very difficult situation right now, but I will try to persuade the Tunisian Wrestling Federation to give us a further 48 hours extension to register our athletes.”
Igali also informed that as a result of the stringent financial situation, the NWF will only send 20 athletes to the competition.
As hosts in 2018, Nigeria paraded 90 athletes at the tournament in Port Harcourt, featuring a wrestler in all the weight classes in the cadet, junior and senior levels.
Failure to participate in the African Championships which runs from 26th to 31st March will automatically deny Nigeria a chance of featuring at the World Championships in Kazakhstan in September because the tournament in Tunisia serves as a qualifier for the World Champs.