Due to a severe shortage of funds, Team Nigeria has regrettably withdrawn from the inaugural Para All Africa Games, according to the Federal Ministry of Sports Development.
The Games are scheduled to kick off on Sunday, September 3rd, in Ghana, running through to September 13th. The Paralympic Committee Nigeria (PCN) had meticulously prepared its athletes for participation in wheelchair basketball (both male and female), tennis, and amputee athletics.
Sources from within the Federal Ministry of Sports Development have disclosed that the absence of adequate funding is the primary reason behind Nigeria’s inability to attend the Games, despite the athletes and federations being fully prepared and eager to compete.
The para-athletes had previously presented their request to participate in the Games to the newly appointed minister during his inspection of facilities at the National Stadium in Surulere. During this visit, the minister assured them that he would address the matter to ensure their participation.
However, with just one day remaining until the Games’ opening ceremony, there is no indication that Nigeria will be able to participate. While the para-athletes are still in the country, several other African nations have already arrived in Ghana to take part in the Games.
A source, speaking anonymously, stated, “It was initially rumoured that Nigeria would only participate in the tennis event with four players, but now it appears that the country will not be in attendance at all.”
This unfortunate turn of events has left many of the para-athletes, who had trained and prepared diligently for the Games, feeling disheartened.
“We are extremely disappointed by this development, as we worked tirelessly to make our country proud at the Games. It’s disheartening to think that our efforts will go to waste. If these were able-bodied athletes, the Federal Government would have made funds available. This is just not fair,” said the athletes, who requested to remain anonymous.