Nigeria is a sport-loving nation and the citizens are always looking forward to seeing the various national sports teams donning the colours of the nation while hoping the teams will be more successful this year than in 2021 which ended yesterday.
Just as every other previous year, Nigeria has always participated in various sporting events and this year will not be an exception except the current pandemic takes an ugly twist.
Trust Sports highlights some of the major events Nigeria as a country will participate in as the year 2022 begins today.
Africa Cup of Nations
This will be the first major event Nigeria will participate with the Super Eagles representing the country at the 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, the biennial international men’s football championship of Africa organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The tournament is scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon and will take place from 9 January to 6 February 2022. Nigeria is grouped with Egypt, Guinea-Bissau and Sudan in Group D and will look to win it the fourth time.
African Men’s Handball Championship
The 25th edition of the African Men’s Handball Championship will be held from 13 to 23 January 2022 in Morocco. It acts as the African qualifying tournament for the 2023 World Men’s Handball Championship in Poland and Sweden. The Golden Arrows as the senior national team is called have participated in eleven editions.
Men’s Hockey Africa Cup of Nations
The quadrennial international men’s field hockey championship of Africa is organised by the African Hockey Federation and it will be held alongside the women’s category in Ghana from 17th to 23rd January. Nigeria is grouped in Pool B with Egypt, Ghana and Uganda. The winner will qualify for the 2023 Men’s FIH Hockey World Cup.
Women’s Hockey Africa Cup of Nations
Just as the men are slugging it out on the pitch, the women to will be taking on Ghana, Kenya and Zambia in Pool B while the winner of the tournament qualifies for the 2022 Women’s FIH Hockey World Cup.
Nigeria is scheduled to compete at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, from 4 to 20 February 2022 but in only one sport – Cross-country skiing.
African Youth Games
This competition scheduled from 25th February to 6th March in Ethiopia is for athletes under the age of 18 and athletes who performed well in the 6th National Youth Games in Ilorin will represent the country in the tournament.
FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup
As at the time of writing this, Nigeria is yet to qualify for the Mundial but the Super Falconets are on track to qualify for the global football showpiece billed for Costa Rica from August 10–28, 2022. Since the start of the competition in Canada 2002, the Falconets have participated in all editions of the Fifa U20 Women’s World Cup.
Africa Women Cup of Nations
The biennial international football championship organised for the women’s national teams of Africa will be hosted by Morocco from 2 to 23 July 2022. Morocco has qualified for the tournament automatically being the host while other nations will still go through the qualification processes.
The tournament doubles as the African qualifiers for the World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand. The top four teams at the AWCON will qualify for the World Cup. Nigeria is the most successful nation in the tournament’s history, having won a record 11 titles, meaning they have won all but two of the previous tournaments.
FIFA World Cup
This is the biggest football showpiece in the world and the Super Eagles is expected to fly the nation’s flag in faraway Qatar. The three-time AFCON champions are yet to qualify as they will have to navigate through a tricky world cup final clash with a yet-to-be-known opponent. Nigeria will face either Mali, Egypt, Congo DR, Cameroon or Ghana for a place in Qatar 2022.
FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup
Nigeria’s senior women’s basketball team, D’Tigress will be in Syndey, Australia for the 19th edition of FIBA’s premier international tournament for women’s national basketball teams.
They recently emerged champions of Africa after they secured a 70-59 points win over Mali in the final match of the 2021 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket. D’Tigress are only the second team in Africa to win three consecutive titles after Senegal did the same in the 70s.
Commonly known as Birmingham 2022, is an international multi-sport event for members of the Commonwealth that is scheduled to be held in Birmingham, England is expected to take place between 28 July and 8 August 2022 Nigeria has won at least one medal at every Games attended, including a high of thirty-seven in 1994 and has competed at thirteen editions, from 1950 till date. Nigeria did not attend four Games, in 1962, 1978 (in protest at New Zealand’s sporting policies towards South Africa during apartheid), 1986 and 1998 (due to suspension).