By Olanrewaju Akojede
The Director-General of Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC), Oluwatoyin Gafaar, says the state expects a carnival-like Lagos International Squash competition when it kicks off.
Gafaar spoke at a news conference to herald the tournament at the Sports Bar of Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Lagos will once again host the 200 point-ranking international squash competition.
The international classics, with $18,000 prize money for Men and Women categories, will kick off on May 9 and end with a final match on May 13.
The squash tournament, backed by Professional Squash Players Association (PSA), is expected to attract players across the world, from France, Germany, Hong Kong, England among others as well as host country, Nigeria.
Gafaar, who restated the commitment of the state government to sports development, noted that the state would continue to witness more landmark international tournaments.
“This is one of the classics that we have been sponsoring and have interest. We also have other classics, and we have been on this journey for a while.
“This competition, Lagos International Squash Classic, is unique because it is a ranking tournament recognised by the world body.
“We are happy because we will be hosting players from across the globe in Lagos participating alongside our home-based players.
“We will always identify and support this competition because we are always showing interest in the development of sports and at this time around, we will do more,” he said.
Gafaar also expressed the intention of the commission to encourage more home grown talents and groom them to stardom, a vision that the international squash classic represents.
“We look forward to a carnival like tournament with such an international feel in the world of squash game.
“The game is a good one that encourages sportsmanship and is already developed in Nigeria.
“Hopefully, we are going to have exciting games with Nigerian talents and their foreign counterparts. We are proud to be associated with squash association,” he said. (NAN)
Edited by Idris Abdulrahman