Scrabble has officially been readmitted into the 2018 National Sports Festival (NSF), scheduled for November in Abuja.
The decision came after months of protests and petitions to the sports ministry by Nigerian scrabble pundits over the exclusion of the sport from Nigeria’s biennial multi-sport event.
Scrabble players and officials were quite dissatisfied with the preliminary sport listing for the NSF that placed scrabble alongside other optional sports for the event, majorly due to Nigeria’s position in world scrabble ranking.
Nigeria maintained its place as the best scrabble playing nation in the world for the second consecutive time, with 5 Nigerians listed amongst the World English Scrabble Players Association Championship’s (WESPAC) top-15 players, and for this, scrabble enthusiast argued that the sport be included in the NSF.
On Friday, the sport ministry chose to readmit the sport into the NSF, to the delight of players and officials.
“We are so grateful to the sports ministry and the government for listening to our cries. All the players and officials are so excited about the new development. It is not just the Nigerian scrabble community that is happy, the international community have also expressed their delight. Scrabble is not a joke in Nigeria. It is huge and it is doing very well even at the grassroots level.”
— Wellington Jighere, 2015 World Scrabble Champion (Vanguard Sports).