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NOC president seeks stakeholders’ support for 2024 Olympics

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Habu Gumel, President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), has encouraged sporting federations to give their all at the 2024 All Africa Games.

The 13th All Africa Games will be held in Ghana from March 8 to March 23, 2024.

The games, as well as the Youth Winter Games, will be held in Gangwom, South Korea, from January 19 to February 1, 2024, and will act as qualifiers for the Olympic Games in 2024.

Gumel noted that, “As of today and heading into the Olympic year 2024, our nation has only qualified three in Athletics, three in boxing and one each in cycling and wrestling.”

”This is a far cry from expectations, even though we are still hopeful of qualifying more athletes, especially with our Women’s Basketball and Women’s Football teams still engaged in the qualifying series.”

However, Gumel urged Sports Minister John Enoh to ensure Nigeria participates in the African Games and other qualifying competitions in order to increase the country’s prospects of having a significant presence in the Olympics.

”The failure of any Federation, athlete or team to feature in one or more of the qualification tournaments lined up by the International Federations ahead of the Games would mean automatic self-disqualification from the Olympic Games,” he said.

Furthermore, Gumel stated that he was confident that all parties were committed to the development of the country and were motivated to break the 1996 record.

According to him, the ministry has agreed to organize another joint meeting of stakeholders, which would provide more opportunity to plead for the Minister’s goodwill and involvement to ensure that Nigeria’s medal hopefuls in major sports compete in their scheduled Olympic qualification events.

He advised early planning for the 13th African Games, which will serve as a platform for international qualifiers for the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024.

Nigeria finished second at the 2019 African Games in Morocco, with a total of 46 Gold, 33 Silver, and 48 Bronze medals, trailing Egypt, who finished first while South Africa, which finished third.

Gumel asked the Minister to strengthen and fund the Federations, since they are vital to the success of the sports sector.

He promised the NOC’s willingness to collaborate with the minister and assist him in achieving better results.

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