Funds Threaten Wheelchair Tennis Players

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Nigeria’s hope of featuring in the wheelchair tennis event at next year’s Paralympics Games in London is threatened due to lack of funds for the players to feature at the Salzburg Open, the qualifier for the Games.

The first leg of the qualifier will end tomorrow, while the second leg begins on Monday.

National coach of the wheelchair tennis, Frank Tarmena, told P.M. Sports that the duo of Wasiu Yusuf and Alex Odewole have secured visas for the competition, but need about N1 million to make the trip for the Salzburg Open, the ITF-organised qualifier holding in Austria.

“The most important thing which we felt will be difficult is the visa which we have gotten but it’s a serious setback that we are battling to get funds to attend the event,” lamented Tarmena.

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He disclosed that the nation has good chance of picking tickets for the Paralympics Games because the players have been preparing for the event for a long time.

Tarmena is, however, optimistic that the players can still get their return ticket and attend the final leg, which commences by Monday. He called on corporate bodies and well meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of the team from facing global embarrassment.

—Olusegun Abidoye

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