Ocheho bemoans COVID-19 crisis as Prudent Energy gives palliative to handball athletes
The Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) President, Mr. Sam Ocheho, has lamented the effect of the COVID-19-induced lockdown on the sport, saying but for the crisis, the federation would have completed four championships by now. He however believes things would normalise once COVID-19 is curtailed.
Ocheho, who revealed that HFN’s major sponsor, Prudent Energy, has distributed some palliatives to handballers, lamented “the COVID-19 pandemic has really affected our plan for 2020 significantly. Going by the calendar for the year, by May we should have taken part in four championships.
“The first one we had was the U-12 and 16 championships before the COVID-19 pandemic. We would have then proceeded to the Edo 2020 Festival, and then come back for the IHF Challenge Trophy for Zone Three in Cote d’Ivoire. The first stage of the Premier League would also have been completed by now,” he said, adding that the board was meeting to rejig the calendar.
“The pandemic has affected all sports, and it is global, not just in Nigeria. What we are waiting for is for the board to conclude its discussions before we create scenarios and possibilities in our minds.
“Since we all do not have any idea of when the full easing out of the lockdown will happen, and we do not know when sporting activities will resume, we do not want to plan in vacuum.
“That is why we are where we are at the moment, but we believe that as soon as it is possible to hold sporting activities, we will surely come back with a new calendar,” Ocheho said.
He added that Prudent Energy was ready for the start of the first phase of the Premier League, adding that the federation would begin preparations for the competition as soon as things return to normal.
“Even though that COVID-19 pandemic is a serious one, our sponsor has shown that it is a good company with its donation of N5.5 million to the athletes as palliatives for the COVID-19. This relief is to be shared among the athletes in the Premier League, which Prudent Energy sponsors,” he stated.