By Eddie Akalonu
Top officials of the Nigeria University Games Association, NUGA, are having sleepless nights over their inability to meet the budgeted funds for the country’s participation in the 27th World University Games scheduled to take place in the Russian city of Kazan, July 6 to 17.
A top official of NUGA who pleaded anonymity, told Saturday Vanguard sports that lack of funds was the reason the body was yet to make public it’s intentions on sports and their events for participation . “We are still scouting for funds,” said the official in Lagos shortly after the South West zonal qualifiers held at the University of Lagos recently. Sports competed for were in judo, athletics, swimming, chess basketball, badminton, taekwondo, and tennis .
It was also revealed that both cricket and hockey will be played out directly in the games proper. NUGA may also have been holding back a decision hoping to use the Games proper which holds at the University of Ibadan in June as official platform to decide the sports that would be entered for the Kazan Games, the official hinted to Vanguard.
“When qualifiers have been concluded in the zones, we will look forward to the Games proper coming up in June and then we shall be in a position to decide on the sports to enter for the Games. Our position again would depend on funds. This is where we are calling on Nigerians for help so we would be able to participate in the Games,” he added.
The Summer Universiade, organised by the World University Games, FISU consists of 10 compulsory sports with 13 compulsory disciplines and up to three optional sports chosen by the host country.
“We decided to hold the qualifiers in order to be ready because the association feels our sweat and those of the athletes who have been training within campuses should not be wasted in the event that some assistance comes from philanthropists, corporate bodies and government before Games time in July,” he said.