By Salifu Usman, Abuja
Ahead of the March 1st date, Nigeria is already set to host the 2020 U-19 boys African Nation’s Volleyball Championship will be played simultaneously with the 2020 U-18 girls African Nations Championship, Musa Nimrod, president of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF), assured yesterday.
Madagascar was named as host earlier but withdrew before Nigeria came to the rescue of African Volleyball Confederation (CAVB) by putting forward their interest to host the competitions that starts March 1st through March 9, 2021.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP Sports after inspecting the venue of the competitions, Nimrod, said all the arrangements for the competitions have been put in place and Nigeria is ready to host if it means even starting today.
He commended the facilities team for the job well done. “I’m really certified and also appreciate the facilities team. They have done a good job and I’m so happy with them,” Nimrod said.
While thanking the Nigeria’s government for giving the NVBF approval to host the competitions, Nimrod assured the commitment of the federation to host a hitch-free event in adherence to government’s guidelines and protocols on COVID-19.
“We’re doing our best at the NVBF to ensure we have a hitch-free event. We thank the government for giving approval for these competitions and also allowing us to use their venue.
“At the federation we are almost 85% prepared, whatever needs to be done has been put in place and if it means even starting the competition today, we are ready.
“In line with COVID-19 protocols, the hand washing machines and senitisers have been put in place. Apart from the senitisers on the wall, every player and official will be given one senitiser each that he or she will be using both in the hotel and competition venues. Also every player, official and spectator will wear facemask. All those things have been procured and everybody is going to have it.”
According to him, Nigeria’s target is to host and win the competitions to represent Africa at the FIVB World championships in Mexico and Iran respectively.
“This is not the first time Nigeria is participating in the competitions. In the previous edition, our girls finished fourth in Kenya while we are the defending champion of the Under-19 boys title. So, we’re determined to defend our position as number one team in Africa and. We are the number 14 ranked team in the world and it is our desire to move up to the top 10 or top 5 in the world. Yes, it is a gradual process, and I want to announce to you that all our players that are in camp, both boys and girls are new players. None of them are old players, they are 100 percent new breed,” Nimrod stated.
Cameroun, DR Congo, Central Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Madagascar and host Nigeria so far have registered their interest in the competition that the winners will represent Africa at the FIVB World championships.
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