Lack of proper coordination among judo stakeholders in Nigeria prevented the country from winning any medal in the event at the ongoing 12th African Games, an official has said.
Bolaji Yusuf, a member of the Nigeria Judo Federation (NJF), told newsmen on Monday in Rabat on the sidelines of “Rabat 2019” that Team Nigeria could have won medals.
The judo event was held on Saturday and Sunday with Nigeria’s judokas failing to win any of the 56 available medals.
“We had a lot of issues, such as lack of proper coordination. There was also the problem of sense of belonging among the stakeholders.
“Then, the issue of sports politics, which has always been the bane of Nigeria at international competitions,” Yusuf said.
Egypt dominated the event with four gold and four bronze medals, with hosts Morocco also grabbing two gold, five silver and four bronze medals.
Victoria Agbodoberi lost in the women’s -57kg elimination stage to Morocco’s Fatima El Qorachi, while Sarah Umar lost in the -78kg eliminations to Tunisia’s Sarra Mzougui.
Damilare Joseph was eliminated in the men’s +100kg event by Adil Hajji of Morocco.
Michael Agbo in the men’s -60 kg beat Angola’s Garcia Pedro, Malawi’s Chikondi Kathewera and Cameroon’s Tsala Bernadin.
He, however, lost to Younes Saddiki of Morocco in the quarter-finals and Algeria’s Salim Rebahi in the repechage.
Yusuf who is representing the NJF President, Timothy Nsirim, at the Games however, said the judo sport had a bright future in Nigeria.
“With what I have seen here in Rabat, Nigeria has a very good chance of dominating the sport in Africa.
“All what is needed is the cooperation of all stakeholders. From my observation and what I have seen so far, Nigeria has what it takes to be the number one nation when it comes to judo in Africa.
“But there is need to work together as a team, because while we may not have won any medal here at the games, it is not because of lack of talents and good judokas,” the former Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Sports Facilities to Akinwunmi Ambode, the former Lagos State Governor, said