The Nigeria Hockey Federation has debunked the story published Tuesday by a section of the Nigerian media which erroneously reported that, the country’s male and female national hockey teams will be banned by the International Hockey Federation for failure to make it to the 2019 Africa Olympic Qualification tournament, scheduled for Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Secretary General of the Nigeria Hockey Federation, Rita Mosindi, disclosed to www.sportscompass.com.ng authoritatively, that, the Nigerian team failed to travel to South Africa for the African Olympic Qualification Tournaments, because of the country’s high commission’s refusal to grant the Nigerian teams travel visas. This was against the erroneous report published that the team stayed back because the federation did not get needed funds to travel.
www.sportscompass.com.ng gathered that the truth of the matter is that, the teams were refused entry visas by the South African High Commission in Nigeria because of the escalated incidences of xenophobic attacks presently going on against Nigerians in South Africa.
Our reporter scooped that, the decision for the two Nigerian teams not to attend was taken at the last minute by the government of Nigeria, for purpose of safety for the Nigerian teams.
“Already, the leadership of the Nigeria Hockey Federation has duly informed the International Hockey Federation about the present situation and why the two teams would not be competing at the Olympic Qualification Tournaments in Johannesburg,” our reporter can authoritatively reveal.
Earlier, the erroneous reports stated that: “Nigeria is set to be banned and fined by the International Hockey Federation,(IHF) after the country failed to send her representatives to compete at the 2019 Africa Olympic qualification tournament in Johannesburg, South Africa. Nigeria’s male and female senior teams who are ranked 3rd and 4th respectively in Africa failed to make the trip over the non-availability to secure the needed funding from the sports ministry. — Nigeria who pulled out were among eight countries including host South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Namibia, Ghana, Egypt and Botswana who were earlier selected to compete at the African showpiece.”