Handball will win medals in Congo, Atusu assures

Medals. Photo: trophiesunlimited

Medals. Photo: trophiesunlimited

The Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) is doing everything possible to ensure Nigeria wins a medal in the sport at this year’s All Africa Games (AAG) scheduled for Congo Brazzaville in September, the Technical Director of the federation, Pat Atusu, has said.

Atusu told The Guardian that the federation has been preparing its women team without waiting for the National Sports Commission (NSC) to officially invite them for camping. He added: “The team is behind schedule, and coincidentally, we just finished a meeting where the board has directed the players to move into camp immediately after the Salah celebration, not minding when the NSC will officially invite them into camp.”

According to Atusu, “the Mega Veterans (a group of former handballers) and the board have decided to take up the responsibility of camping the team hopefully between July 19 and 25, until when the NSC will take over.”

He revealed that the federation would camp the team outside Lagos, saying, “definitely, we are not going to camp in Lagos because of accommodation and venue problems. The only available venue we would have used should have been Rowe Park. But then, the Rowe Park court is an outdoor court; and when it rains, as we are in the raining season, we do not know where to run to considering the fact that the hall will also be used by any other association.

“We should be starting our camping in Abuja for a period of one week, and then move over to Kaduna. I am glad to tell say that the Kaduna State Handball Association has agreed to provide accommodation for the team.”

He disclosed that the NHF would take the team on a training tour, adding, however, “the tour is a bit subjective; subjective in the sense that though the federation had planned that the team will be going on a playing tour within the West Africa Coast, which may include Benin, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire. We are also thinking of Cameroun to see if we can play some friendly matches. We hope to come out well prepared before the Games”.

The Nigerian women handball team will feature at the games following their victory over Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso in the qualifiers.

However, the male team failed to qualify for the championships after losing the only slot by 25-32 to Cote d’Ivoire.

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