The Nigeria Shooting federation says the last minute conclusion that shooters will not participate in the 2018 Commonwealth Games will strain the country’s chances to become shooting sport leader in the nearest future.
Lonsdale Adeoye, President, Nigerian Shooting Federation (NSF), who made the assertion in Abuja, said the federation never expected that its athletes would be excluded at the tournament.
“After satisfying all criteria beforehand and making concerted efforts to participate in the Commonwealth Games, enough efforts weren’t put in to save the day.
“The international high table we clamoured for is in danger. Efforts of the federation have become wasted and plunged it into indebtedness to its partners.
“NSF is obligated to refund their (partners) financial assistance for our inability to participate in the Games.
“The NSF can only tell the country that it has sacrificed a lot and owing its partners with a zero purse.
“To decamp some of our shooters and coaches is a big challenge as there is no fund to push ahead,’’ he said in a statement.
Adeoye said the NSF was the fastest growing and known federation in Nigeria and the globe with over 35 gold medals for grab.
He expressed the belief that the federation should be included among the 10 other national sports federations to heighten Nigeria’s medals hope at the Games.
“We want to crave the indulgence of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) to help redeem our empty purse.
“NSF is asking for the continuous support and cooperation of all stakeholders to move the federation and the nation forward.
“We will like to assure the sports ministry, NOC and other stakeholders that the leadership of the federation is putting in place measures to ensure it partakes in subsequent international Games.
“Failing to participate at the forthcoming Commonwealth Games is very hard to take for the federation and Nigerians as a whole in spite of all efforts to be in Gold Coast, Australia,’’ he said.
The Coast Commonwealth Games is slated for April 4 to April 15 in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
Nigeria will participate in 10 sports including Basketball, Athletics, Weightlifting and Wrestling among others.
The NSF helmsman also said the federation’s leadership had assured all fans that it would double efforts to ensure that it avoided such situations in the future.
The NSF will host competitions like the Late Major Ojo Open Shooting Sports Air Weapon Championship between April 8 and April 14.
It will also organise Late Deji Tinubu Open Laser Run Guns Championship and Governor Ambode Shooting Para Open Championship later this year respectively.