Don’t blame Nigerian wrestlers for boycotting 2018 Commonwealth Games, Igali warns

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Daniel Igali, President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF)

Daniel Igali, President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), on Saturday said the Federation should not be blamed if its wrestlers boycott the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Igali told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that this could happen with the trend of events after Nigeria’s successful participation at the recent World Championships in Paris.

He said the boycott could happen following the inability of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports to hold a reception ceremony for Odunayo Adekuoroye and other wrestlers who participated in Paris.

NAN reports that Adekuoroye emerged the first Nigerian wrestler to reach the final of a world championship.

She clinched a silver medal in the 55kg women’s freestyle, after losing 4-5 to Haruna Okuno of Japan.

Her teammate, Blessing Okorodudu, lost the 63kg category bronze medal match to Jackeline Castillo of Colombia, while another teammate, Aminat Adeniyi, lost in the quarter-final match.

Igali said he was disappointed that the wrestlers were not received by the Federal Government since their return from the event on Monday.

“The team went to a world championship and Adekuoroye did so well to win a silver medal in an event which is even more difficult than the Olympics. But she was not received. This is not encouraging.

“We had also won about eight gold medals a few months ago in an African Championship, which is equivalent to the AfroBasket tournament the D’Tigress won, yet we were not received.

“It is not fair at all. If the wrestlers choose to boycott the Commonwealth Games, I will not blame anybody and nobody should blame anybody at the Federation,’’ he said.

NAN reports that six Nigerian wrestlers participated in the championships from Aug. 21 to Aug. 27.(NAN)