Habu Gumel, the President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), implored the Federal Government to promote the efforts of the committee by guaranteeing that many athletes in Nigeria are qualified for the Olympic Games next year, which is to be hosted by Paris, France. According to Gumel, the sports federations and the NOC have been rigorously collaborating to ensure that qualification championships around the world are hopefully attended by many Nigerian medal winners. The NOC and sports federations chairmen met with Senator John Owan Enoh, the Minister of Sports.
This was organized due to the upcoming multi-event games, which involves Nigeria, in 2024, at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja. The minister was also informed by Gumel on the plans for the Winter Youth Games, which is scheduled to be run from January 9 to February 1, 2024, and will be held in Guam, South Korea. Also, the 13th African Games will be held in Accra Ghana, from March 8 to March 23, 2024; as well as the biggest of them all, the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, which will be held from July 26 to August 11, 2024, and held in Paris, France.
Automatic disqualification from attending the Games is possible.
Gumel explained that there is an ongoing qualification championships at the Paris Games for team and individual sports. He added that the critical take-off for the event is qualification tournaments, as far as the Games are concerned. Also, he announced that automatic disqualification from attending the Games is done by failure of any team athlete or federation to involve in one or more qualification tournaments that are structured by the International Federation before the Games.
Furthermore, Gumel said that only eight athletes have been qualified, that is one athlete from cycling and wrestling each, three athletes from boxing and three athletes from athletics. This showed that qualification is a key and major component of the Games. The NOC is being optimistic that the women’s soccer team and the women’s basketball team will be qualified for the Paris Games. In addition, the intervention and the good will of the minister was solicited.
Funding and government support for athlete development is required.
Also, the joint meeting was used to urge the minister that the athletes in major sports should take part in the Olympic qualifying events. The NOC boss restated the importance of funding and government support for athlete development, infrastructure and sport programmes. He also stated that investments in coaching programmes for the cultivation and nurturing of young talents, training centres, and sport facilities are highly required. Gumel discussed that the NOC, which is a worthy co-partner in national sports development, has never left the burden of funding to the Federal Government.
More so, the NOC is passionately committed to deploying values to its stakeholders, particularly in capacity building, to enhance technical and administrative structures of national federations. In the meeting, issues like international collaborations, sports legislation and doping control were addressed. The minister and the NOC declared their commitment to guarantee integrity and fair play, which will enhance implementation of strict regulations and anti-doping measures. John Owan Enoh, the Sports Minister appreciated the NOC for its service to promote.
Sport will develop to become a business with job opportunities.
Additionally, he emphasized that there is a need for new ideas, which will involve the private sector, to transform sports to a business-oriented sector. Enoh announced that more opportunities will be provided through early preparations for the Games at their different sporting events. This preparation will help the country to have a record of podium finishes at the international game competitions. He also stressed that the desire of the Nigerian President is to make sure that sport develops to become a business with job opportunities for the youths, thereby reducing the level of poverty in the country.