22nd March, 2012
National Sports Commission, NSC, has made a U-turn on its earlier decision to exclude beach volleyball from the sports Nigeria is featuring in this year’s Olympic Games in London.
Julius Ogunro, the Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdulahi, said that the beach volleyball team, currently preparing for Olympic qualifiers in Mauritius from 12-15 April, have been given a lease of life to participate in the Olympics, if they eventually qualify for the Games.
“After a thorough consideration, the Ministry of Sports, under the Supervising Minister, Bolaji Abdulahi, has decided to allow Beach Volleyball feature in the Olympics, if the sport qualifies for the Games through the African qualifiers holding in Mauritius next month,” Ogunro said.
Meanwhile, scribe of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation, NVB, Patrick Abobi, said that the federation was not surprised with the decision of the NSC.
He said: “We’ve always known that as long as we qualify for the Games nothing will stop us from going to the Olympics.”
He stated that the federation is ready for the qualifiers as the beach volleyball team will regroup in Abuja on Monday.
“We are determined to pick the sole Africa’s ticket for the Games, considering the level of our preparedness. I want to assure Nigerians that we’ll leave nothing to chance to ensure that Nigeria features in the beach volleyball event in the Olympics,” Abobi said.
Nigeria will compete in the Mauritius tourney alongside Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, South Africa, Congo Brazzaville and the hosts.
Rwanda will host the women’s version of the qualifiers billed for Kigali from 22-26 May.
The countries that will contest for the women ticket are Kenya, Congo, Algeria, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, hosts, Rwanda and Tanzania.