Team Nigeria prepares 750-Man contingent for African Games
Nigeria and 53 other nations are preparing for the competition, which will see the host country, Morocco, compete at the Games for the first time since the 1978 edition in Algeria. The Moroccans had missed out in the African biggest sports festival due to political reasons before they were readmitted in 2017. It is the first time Morocco is hosting the event, which holds between August 19—31.
At the 2015 edition of the All African Games held in Brazzaville, Congo, Team Nigeria participated with 573 athletes in 21 sports and finished 2nd on the medals table.
The Guardian learned yesterday that the Sports Ministry had submitted a total number of 750 names at the Moroccan Embassy for visa processing ahead of the Games.
Team Nigeria will do battle with other giants like Egypt, Morocco and South Africa in the 21 events already confirmed for the Games.
A source told The Guardian that the sports ministry is battling on how to cut down on the large list due to its poor funding ahead of the Games.
According to the source, the ministry is yet to secure enough funds to settle the issue of training grants for overseas-based athletes, as well as their flight tickets to come down to Nigeria. Team Nigeria wants to depart for Morocco on a chartered flight.
The Guardian recalls that foreign-based athletes boycotted the recent National Trials conducted by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) in Kaduna over alleged non-payment of allowances owed them from previous competitions.
Meanwhile, Nigeria Weightlifting Federation is targeting 15 gold medals for Nigeria at the African Games in Morocco.
President of the Weightlifting Federation, Mohammed Yahaya, told The Guardian yesterday that they would travel with 2o lifters made up of ten male and ten female. “We have a strong team that can win 15 gold, 13 silver and 13 bronze medals for Nigeria in Morocco,” Yahaya stated.
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