Sport  |  Golf  

Aside world ranking, non-remittance of dues cost Nigeria Rio 2016 chance

By Christian Okpara   |   17 June 2016   |   2:10 am
Nigeria’s top star, Oche Odoh, will wait for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to play in the world’s biggest multi-sport event.

Nigeria’s top star, Oche Odoh, will wait for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to play in the world’s biggest multi-sport event.

Aside the eligibility rule, which favours only the world’s top ranked players in the qualification race for the golf event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Nigeria’s failure to remit its required payment to the International Golf Federation (IGF) since 2004 also counted against the country’s bid to field players at the games.

To qualify for both the men’s and women’s golf event, the top 15 world-ranked players will be eligible for the Olympic Games, regardless of the number of players from a given country. Beyond the top 15, players will be eligible based on world ranking, with a maximum of two available players from each country that does not already have two or more players among the top 15 to a maximum number of 60 players in total in the competition.

During the last Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC) annual general meeting at the Yankari Games Reserve, Bauchi, president of the Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF), Nazifi Mohammed, had lamented the effect of the eligibility rule on Nigerian players, saying it was unfair to the country’s many talented players.

However, beyond the rules, Professional Golfers Association of Nigeria (PGAN) Director, Samson Lawal, has added that the country was also affected by its inability to remit its required payments to the IGF.

Lawal said in a report yesterday that “Nigeria hasn’t been paying its dues to the international body since 2004 which meant we couldn’t take part in some of the processes that will lead to participation in Rio which is a shame considering it’s the first time the sport will feature at the quadrennial event.”

Lawal, who like Nazifi agreed that Nigeria has about 12 players capable of challenging for medals in Rio, added that the country would now start preparing for the 2020 games to be held in Tokyo, Japan.




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