Nigeria boxers have threatened to protest the country’s non-appearance at the qualifying tournament for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Dakar, Senegal from February 20 to 29.
According to them, the Nigeria Boxing Federation said they would not take part in the Olympic qualifiers because there were no medal hopefuls.
“They said the same thing at the African Games, that we were not competent to win any medal, but out of the 10 boxers Nigeria took, we won seven medals – one gold, one silver and five bronze medals,” a boxer said.
The boxers accused the federation officials of embarking on a trip to Cameroon that had no positive effect on them, despite complaining of paucity of funds.
Reacting to this, Director of Federations, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Tayo Oreweme, said the sports ministry did not release funds for the Dakar trip because the boxing federation could not justify their participation at the qualifiers.
“The boxing federation was tipped for the qualifying tournament (in Dakar) but in their own wisdom, they went to the one that was not a qualifier (Cameroon). By the time we had a meeting last Thursday, the NBF board member said the only boxing medal hopeful they had for the Olympics was Efetobor Apochi, who is in USA. He said they would ensure that he made it to the world qualifying tournament,” Oreweme said.
However, the NBF president, Kenneth Minimah is yet to comment on the issue.