As the coronavirus pandemic continues threatening the resumption of major sporting activities across the globe, leading to the cancellation of some sporting events in the world, the Nigerian sports world has equally been dealt a great impact by the pandemic which has put competitions like the Nigeria Professional Football League and National Sports Festival on hold temporarily.
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The Challenge Plus Nigeria Open tennis tournament which was scheduled to hold from August 18-22, 2020, is the latest to be hit by COVID-19 with announcement from the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) on Sunday, May 17, 2020, that the tournament has been cancelled. The elite African tennis competition attracts high profile tennis players among the world’s top 200 but will not hold this year as Nigeria continues the fight against the deadly virus.
Wahid Oshodi, the LOC chairman noted that the uncertainty surrounding the end of the pandemic is a major reason behind the cancellation, citing the health of athletes as top priority, including fans that grace the occasion to support their favourite players.
We are pained that we have to cancel the tournament this year because all plans were in place to stage a befitting tournament while our sponsors are also looking forward to an exciting tournament considering what we witnessed in 2019. But we are constrained by this pandemic to cancel this year’s edition and we are looking forward to being part of the new World Table Tennis (WTT) series in 2021– Wahid Oshodi
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Meanwhile, plans are ongoing by the LOC, Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) and the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) to host an invitational tennis tournament towards the end of 2020 that will see top tennis players around the globe compete against each other in Nigeria.
Featured image source: Table Tennis England
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