Nigeria will take on Egypt in their opening match at the 2023 Girl’s U-17 African Nations Volleyball Championship in Abuja on Saturday.
The encounter is billed for today (December 2) by 4pm at the indoor sports hall of Moshood Abiola Stadium (Package B) in Abuja.
Only three countries which includes host Nigeria, Egypt and Cameroon will be participating in the tournament after two countries pulled out due to logistics.
The head coach of Nigeria U17 Girls’ team, Sunday Akapson told newsmen that his players will give their best during the championship.
The FIVB Level 1 coach said, “These are new crop of players who are ready to make the nation proud at the U17 Championship. This is an opportunity to expose the players to international tournaments and we are hopeful of making a positive impact.
“I am enjoining lovers of the game of volleyball to rally round the team and support us when we take on Egypt today”.
Meanwhile, Former Vice President of the Confederation of African Volleyball, Engineer Habu Gumel said countries on the continent have to make age grade championships their priority if we stand any chances of competing with other continents.
Engineer Gumel said, “I wanted to see a lot of African teams here in Nigeria for the African U17 Girl’s Championship but they could not come due to financial issues. Nevertheless, the CAVB under the leadership of Madam Bouchra Hajij is doing her best and this issue will be discussed at the next board of administration meeting to find ways to ensure African countries participate in other age groups.
“It is our collective duty to ensure we develop volleyball in Africa in order to match other continents”.
The President of Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Engineer Musa Nimrod attributed the low turnout of teams to logistics issues faced by other Sub Saharan countries.
He said, “12 African countries indicated to participate at the 2023 Girl’s U17 African Nations Volleyball Championship but 6 registered. Algeria and Tunisia could not make it due to logistics; that is why we have three teams in this championship.
The U17 Boy’s championship will be taking place in Libya and some of these North African countries will be in attendance”.
Egypt will face Cameroon on Sunday (Dec 3rd) in the second match of the ongoing U17 Girl’s Championship.