As the ITTF Challenge Nigerian Open draws near, assistant referee, John Peters, has assured players and fans that there is no cause to be bordered about the moral credibility of officiating Nigeria umpires at the competition.
Peters strengthened the trust of the players and fans on the umpires, stating that they should only expect the kind of officiating a world-class umpire will offer at this year’s edition go the games.
The ITTF referee, who was part of the Rio 2016 Olympics officiating team, revealed to PUNCH that the event would also feature two ITTF blue badge umpires for the first time.
“I have been to several championships all over the world; I was in the Olympics in Brazil in 2016, the Commonwealth Games in 2014, the All Africa Games and the World Championships. The quality of the umpires we have in Nigeria is as high as anywhere in the world, there is no problem with the Nigerian umpires.
“The ITTF blue badge is the highest category for umpires in the world and we will be having two of them at the 2018 Nigeria Open. This shows that the world body is convinced with what the Nigerians have been doing.
“Because we will be having more top 100 ranked players, the standard of the event has to be higher than the previous editions. More international umpires have been contacted to support the Nigerian umpires.
“We will have eight foreign international umpires instead of the three we had last year. So there is a lot of improvement and we are hoping that those top 100 players coming will add glamour to it. Players will play in a very serene environment. The usual standard in the past is high but this year top class players will be attending and China will be featuring for the first time.”