Karate team accuses officials of victimisation

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Karate: Anambra team complains of victimisation. Twitter photo.

By Chimezie Anaso

Anambra’s Karate team at the on-going National Youth Games (NYG) has accused officials of victimisation and threatened to withdraw from the competition.

The team which represented Nigeria at the African Youth Karate championship in Cotonou, Benin Republic in August, complained against the officials issued the threat in Ilorin on Monday.

The Coach of the team, Godwin Okoro, said: “I do not know why officials are treating us this way, maybe because we always win, or because I don’t have anybody to speak for me.’’

“If they do not want us to compete again they should tell us, you can see the general reaction to this injustice,” he said.

Okoro lodged the complaints after two of his fighters, Nnadozie Blessing (50kg) and Amarachi Nwafor (55kg) exited the competition at the first and second rounds.

He said while Nnadozie’s fight with Delta State’s Ogene Waguru was abruptly stopped in favour of her opponent; Nwafor’s point against Vanessa Hart of FCT was denied her.

Okoro said it was unfair to victimise his team, which took the first position in recent national competitions.

Also speaking on the officiating, Blessing, a former Karate fighter said the decisions were not good for the growth of the game.

“We played this game in the past, we want to see these children compete fairly and the best emerge.

“The decision against Anambra was unfortunate and it’s clear to everybody here.’’

Reacting to the complaint, Emma Metu, a member of the jury said there were observed issues in the officiating.

Metu said Youth Games was for talent discovery noting that the coaches’ decision would not affect the rating of athletes.

He said the federation body would sit to review some the decisions to forestall confusions while urging coaches to stay calm.(NAN)


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