President of Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Daniel Igali, has described the visit of the President of United World Wrestling – Africa, Fouad Meskout, as a major turning point for wrestling in Nigeria.
Nigeria is bidding to host the 2018 Africa Wrestling Championship and when Meskout made a three-day working visit to inspect facilities for the tournament, Igali said it provided a huge chance in showcasing the development of the sport in the country.
Igali told the African wrestling boss that Nigeria had produced passionate and world-class wrestlers who are eager to promote the sport by competing with the best at home.
”Since 1976 till date, Nigeria has not hosted the African Championship. It is about time for Nigeria; we have the capacity, material wealth and full support of the Rivers State Government. We are confident we will not lack anything.”
Igali lavished praises on the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike for displaying amazing support in the bid process and believes hosting the tournament in Port Harcourt provides useful opportunity to showcase the sport to prospective sponsors.
”Governor Nyesom Wike has been awesome. He made things look so easy when he confirmed his interest to host the championship and if we have more persons like him, Wresting in Nigeria will grow to admirable heights.
“I have told the President of African Wrestling Federation that after we host next year’s edition, in 2019 the country will be asked to host again because it will be the best in the history of the competition.”
The African wrestling boss, Meskout, also confirmed he was impressed with the facilities he saw in Port Harcourt and after meeting with the Minister of Youth and Sport, Solomon Dalung and officials of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, he was convinced the country is determined to promote the sport by hosting the continental championship.
Nigeria and Tunisia are chasing the hosting rights for the tournament that is scheduled to take place in February next year.
The winner of the bid will be announced on August 18 in Switzerland.