27th September, 2010
A Table-Tennis player, Idowu Akinyemi has taken a swipe at the Nigeria Table tennisÂ Federation, NTTF, for not being fair in itsÂ selection of players for internationalÂ competitions.
She said this is resposnibile for the dwindling fortunes of the sport in the country. TheÂ athlete said Nigeria would have been a force to reckon with if the administrators hadÂ been fair enough in selecting athletes for international competitions.
She opined that if the administrators have been transparent in picking athletes forÂ tourneys, the sport could have developed better than what the country is experiencingÂ now. She frowned at the criteria used for picking athletes for competitions.
According to the athlete, who once represented Ogun State at the National SportsÂ Festival, NSF,Â â€œtable-tennis is suffering in Nigeria because our administrators areÂ always biased.Â Athletes like usÂ train for competitions but when it is time forÂ selection, the officials would bring their friends and families to represent the countryÂ and at the end of the day, these athletes would disappoint the nation.â€
She stated that it is high time the administrators had a change of attitude if the sportÂ must be taken to greater heights in the country, stressing that except they change theirÂ attitude, the sport would continue to suffer.
The player however charged the National Sports Commission, NSC, to be up and doing,Â adding that if the NSC can sanitise Nigerian sports, it would be better for allÂ concerned.
â€œThe NSC has little to better the lot of the athletes. We want the authority to do moreÂ for us. There is dearth of table tennis tournaments in the country.Â We always train butÂ there are no competitions to showcase our talents. But for the spirited Nigerian likeÂ Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas, who has been sponsoring the Asoju Oba tournament and a host ofÂ others, we would have been redundant. I think something has to be done and it must beÂ urgent,â€ she said.