Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) president, Honourable Daniel Igali is staying optimistic that the country would be able to send grapplers to the forthcoming African Senior Wrestling Championship in Tunisia, after receiving a promise from the sports ministry of sports.
Igali revealed that he has received a verbal commitment from the sports ministry’s permanent secretary, Adesola Olusola, such that he is already making plans for another glorious outing for the country.
However, Igali admitted that the NWF will have to rush and hope that all goes well, having failed to register all wrestlers they intend to take the competition in Hammamet, Tunisia.
Nigeria paraded 90 wrestlers, in all the weight classes of cadet, junior and senior levels, during last year’s edition in Port Harcourt.
This time out, though, Igali admitted, as a result of the tight financial situation, the NWF will only send 20 grapplers to Tunisia.
He admitted that the NWF could not meet up with the March 5 deadline for entry into the competition due to lack of funds, but Igali said he has assurances that the sports ministry will now sponsor the team.
Consequently, Igali added that he will now seek for an extension to the registration deadline and cement terms with the host, Tunisia Wrestling Federation and how to receive the Nigerian contingent.
Igali added: “I spoke with the permanent secretary and he made a verbal commitment that the sports ministry will sponsor 18 to the competition.
“The onus now lies on the federation to source for funds to enable us get the licenses of the athletes and their accommodation fees.
“We are in a difficult situation, but I will try to persuade the Tunisian Wrestling Federation to give us a further 48 hours extension to us.”