Seychelles, Mauritius lament Nigeria’s absence at ITTF African Junior Championships
Contingent from Seychelles and host, Mauritius, are not happy that Nigeria will not be present at the ITTF Africa Junior and Cadet Championships (AJC), which served off yesterday in Mauritius.
Coaches of Seychelles and Mauritius lamented that the absence of the
West African giants will surely deny the tournament the expected glamour.
Nine teams including Nigeria’s arch-rival, Egypt, will compete for the 11 titles at stake in the competition.
Other teams listed for the tournament are Seychelles, South Africa, Algeria, Madagascar, Tunisia, Morocco, Angola and host – Mauritius.
Coach Jimmy Vel of Seychelles said Nigeria’s absence will give Egypt the chance to mop up all the titles, adding, however, that the tournament would help his
players to improve on their games.
“I don’t know why a nation like Nigeria will not be at this tournament considering their contribution to the sport in the continent
and worldwide. There is no doubt that their absence in this year’s AJC has indeed denied the competition the expected glamour and
excitement it is known for. We in Seychelles wanted to come here and learn from nations like Nigeria because to me they are the best. But not seeing them here alone psychologically has affected most
of the teams. My players have been asking whether Nigeria is coming because some of them are fans of Aruna Quadri and they are eager to see his compatriots perform in Mauritius,” Vel said.
For Coach Patrick Sahajasein of Mauritius, Nigeria’s absence has really dampened the spirit of his team for the AJC.
Sahajasein, who is familiar with the quality of Nigerian players, said they were all looking forward to seeing the team in Mauritius.
“I know that if Nigeria were here, Egypt would not be having a field day at the AJC. It is disappointing that Nigeria is not coming and even before the commencement of the tournament, the feeling among all the participating teams is that the tournament is for Egypt to win.
But this will not discourage my players from giving their best because from what I saw at the WJC, the Egyptians are beatable,” Sahajasein said.