PGAN rues missed opportunities as Portuguese embassy denies team visas entry
The Professional Golfers Association of Nigeria (PGAN) has faulted the attitude of the Portuguese Embassy to the country’s interests following the body’s inability to attend the just-concluded Confederation of Professional Golf Congress held in the Iberian country.
The Nigerian team was denied entry visas to attend the congress despite showing proof that they were scheduled to attend the meeting.
The PGA of Nigeria Secretary, Jide Bolaji explained that Nigeria has been a member of the Confederation of Professional Golf (CPG) (formally PGAs of Europe) since 2018.
He said: “The CPG consists of 33 European countries, Canada, South Africa, Nigeria and Botswana as members. Its Annual Congress is fixed for Dec 2 to 5 and to which we have received invitation as a member country.
“We submitted our application for visa to the Portuguese Embassy through the VFS Portugal Section in Lagos. We submitted all required papers only to be told last week Thursday via a letter that our document indicating purpose of visit was not reliable.
“The consequence of this is that we have been denied the opportunity of growing professional golf in Nigeria through interaction and exchange of ideas with other developed PGAs in the world.
“We have been made to miss out in the discussions and deliberations that would ensued at the Conference. We feel really pained, particularly at this time of globalization when our PGA is making every necessary effort not to be left behind in the global world of golf.
“When we contacted CPG via WhatsApp they expressed deep regret and explained that it was beyond their control.
“In a telephone discussion with NGF Secretary General last week, he said it was too late since the conference was starting on Monday for five days.”
The Congress held at the Penina Hotel & Golf Resort, Algarve Region, Portugal, according to Bolaji, would have given Nigeria the opportunity seek ways of further building the game in the country, as well as cement the alliances with other countries.
He added: “Besides, if CPG had contacted Portugal’s Internal Affairs Ministry may be this would not have happened.”