Nigeria participates in Handball World Cup after 35 years

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Agboola Shittu, head coach of Nigeria’s junior men’s Handball team has praised the Samuel Ochebo led Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) board for ensuring the team’s participation at the upcoming Men’s Junior World Cup.

Shittu told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos in a telephone interview that Nigeria had its last outing at the world cup in 1984 in spite of its long-term membership of International Handball Federation (IHF).

NAN reports that Nigeria is in Group B, alongside France, Sweden, Egypt, South Korea and Australia in the IHF organised championship which would hold in Vigo, Spain from July 16 to July 28.

He added that the 21-man contingent that departed the country on July 15 through Maroc Airline for the championship was made possible with the strong support and passionate commitment of Ochebo.

“”Since Ocheho took up the leadership of handball federation, it has been activities all the way but this particular world championship that we are participating is the height of it all.

“”He has so far distinguished himself; he is indeed a messiah to us.

“For the first time Nigeria is going to participate in the world class tournament after 35 years of non-appearance.

“”We left Nigeria in the early hours of this morning and have arrived Spain a while ago.

“So we are trying to settle down and get ready for our first match tomorrow with France,’’he said.

The coach told NAN that the national men’s team picked the world tournament ticket having performed creditably in the 2019 Africa Junior Nation’s Handball Continental Championship which held in Morocco.

Shittu added that the necessary buildup for the championship was sufficiently utilised, as the players were properly drilled and instructed on current match rules.

“”We made it in the continental and we are determined to make Nigeria proud again.

“We have the capacity and we will surely do our best to lift the trophy,’’the coach said.

Shittu said that the IHF organised championship would feature 24 countries and Nigeria, Eqypt and Tunisia would be representing Africa in the 11-day competition. (NAN)

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