By: Oginyi Nkechinyere/ Abakaliki
Ahead of the next National Sports Festival (NSF), the Nigerian Taekwondo Federation (NTF) has directed its top-ranked athletes to comply with the sports ministry’s directive of participating in the game as all the necessary measures has been put in place.
The NTF Technical Director and Olympic bronze medalist, Chika Chukwumerije in an interview noted that all concerned athletes have been duly informed about the directive.
Our correspondent who was part of the interview report that Chika Chukwumerije who served as the Technical Committee Chairman of the just concluded Ministry of Interior Games (MIGA) in Kaduna said the directive also affects athletes currently enjoying the federation’s scholarship overseas.
“Their scholarships would be withdrawn if they don’t participate in the NSF and offered to others athletes.
“We are not emotional about it as it is the sports ministry’s directive which must be carried-out,” he said.
The technical director noted that the NTF is aware that some athletes are not attached with states and advised them to do so immediately.
“They should identify states that are willing to accept them as the federation would do its best to assist them through possible means.
“States under the federation should also endeavour to pay their annual dues—2018 and 2019 as the federation would not shy away from confrontation if it arises.
He noted that the grading event for the participating athletes at the NSF would hold on Dec.7 while competition runs from Dec.8—11 at the Mambilla barracks, Abuja.
“We would be sharing the venue with the judo athletes and as a small hall, we have to be very coordinated.
“We would have a board meeting for the board members on Dec.12 and the NTF congress on the Dec.13 to give account of our stewardship,” he said.
The All African Games gold medalist noted the Nigerian Opens competition would still hold as scheduled from Feb-8—10 2019 in Abuja as over 71 athletes have so far registered.
“18 of the registered athletes are from Nigeria as we earlier postponed the competition to give more athletes the chance of registration.
“I advise athletes who have not registered due to finances to do so because when they calculate the cost of competing in Ghana for instance, they would discover that we took good steps forward.
“Registration ends on Jan.20, 2019 but it is in the athletes’ interest to register immediately.