By Jacob Ajom
The Nigeria Rugby Football Federation took a giant step to getting readmitted by the International Rugby Union when the newly constituted board led by Kelechi Mbagwu ratified its new constitution.
At an extra-ordinary Annual General Meeting, attended by delegates from the various state chapters, and representative of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, and an EXCO member of the continental governing body, Rugby Afrique, the federation endorsed the constitution and set out a programme of action for the 2018 season.
Speaking after the meeting, President of the NRFF, Kelechi Mbagwu said, “I feel relieved at this stage because if we had failed, we would have been back to square one. A country that is not internationally recognised is not going to live up to its full potential.”
He praised members of the board for their show of solidarity and said the board was now set for business.
“As for what we are set to do now, the local league has to be properly funded. At the moment we have 20 teams, next year we look forward to an increase in that number and so on.,” pointing out that some corporate bodies like Fidelity Bank and Vodacom have indicated interest in funding Nigerian Rugby.
On his part, Khaled Babbou who represented Rugby Afrique said he was happy with what he saw. Said he, “This is what we have been waiting for. Rugby is set to open a new chapter in Nigeria and we will be happy to welcome the country back to the international fold.
He, however, informed that he would have to submit a report to the continental body and believes the outcome would be positive. “And it is not going to be long,”he assured.