By Emmanuel Afonne
The Karate Federation of Nigeria (KFN) said it was preparing its athletes for the 2020 Olympic qualifiers coming up in June in Paris, France.
Caretaker Chairman of the federation, Silas Agara, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Agara said that the federation would ensure the athletes attend the qualifiers in spite of Karate not listed by the Sports Ministry among the 10 sports the country would feature at the Olympics.
“We have one of the best rankings in Africa.
“In fact, we have five athletes among the top10 in Africa and they are eminently qualified to participate in the qualifier even though Karate is not among the Olympic sports listed by the ministry for Nigeria’s participation.
“However, we are poised to ensure we have a good ranking in Africa and in the world.
“As a matter of fact, we are sponsoring ourselves to the qualifiers hoping that we will qualify for the Olympics, and from there we know what next.
“No sports federation can sponsor itself or athletes to the Olympics except the sports ministry; this is why it is called ‘Team Nigeria,’” Agara said.
He noted that the federation at this level was not leaving anything to chance at ensuring that the athletes achieved their ambition.
Agara added, “We are doing our own beats to give our athlete hope because getting to this level and eventually qualifying for the Olympics and then fail to participate, will be demoralising for the athletes.” (NAN)