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Nigeria walked over at ITTF World Championships in Algiers

Nigeria failed to show up for the qualifying event for the 2023 ITTF World Team Championships after the men and women teams were walked over at the ongoing 2022 ITTF Africa Senior Championships taking place in Algiers.

Before the commencement of the tournament at the weekend, Nigeria has been listed among the 28nations expected to compete for the continental slots in Algiers but from the outcome of the event, Nigeria women’s team were withdrew at the last minutes while the men’s team arrived late for the group matches to miss out from making it to the knockout stage.

The three players that made it to Algiers were Europe-based Quadri Aruna and Olajide Omotayo while the only home-based player Taiwo Mati that made the trip to Algiers late on Friday also arrived late for the matches.

Despite assurance from the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) that the men’s team would arrive for their group matches against Tunisia and Cote d’Ivoire, the trio of Aruna, Omotayo and Mati failed to make it on time for the matches and they were walked over to give Cote d’Ivoire and Tunisia passage to the quarterfinal stage.

According to the African Table Tennis Federation (ITTF Africa), the tournament serves as the continental qualifiers for the 2023 World Team Championships in South Africa being the second time Africa will be staging the global championship after Egypt hosted the 1939 edition.

Meanwhile, the President of NTTF Ishaku Tikon has lamented the inability of the team to be part of the tournament over paucity of funds, while hoping the trio of Aruna, Omotayo and Mati would make their presence count in the doubles and singles events.

Egypt yesterday retained the titles in the men and women team events after beating Algeria and Tunisia in the final in the absence of their arch-rival Nigeria.

Teams taking part in the seven-day championships include host Algeria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Morocco, Libya, Mauritania, Congo DRC, Egypt, South Africa, Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Tunisia, Zambia, Uganda, Mauritius, and the Benin Republic.

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