Boxing: Lagos Petitions Bio Over Selection Of Boxers

Lagos State Sports Council has petitioned the Minister of Sports, Ibrahim Bio, over what it called an injustice done to one of the state’s boxers, Laide Fijabi, during the trials for the 2010 Commonwealth Games coming up in India.

Chairman of the council, Agboola Dabiri, expressed his disaffection with the  attitude of the National Coach, Obisia Nwanpa, and the role he played in ensuring that another trial is held after the young boxer had gone through three trials and two tournaments.

He said that after forcing the boxer to have another trial against United States of America-based boxer, Ganiu Muideen, with Fijabi winning by 3 points to nothing, Obisia went ahead to submit the name of Muideen for the Commonweath Games and accused the judges of being biased.

Dabiri stated that the event after the trials showed why Nigeria has not been doing well in international tournaments.

He added that once the coaches compromise they would always take mediocres to championships, thereby denying the country’s talented youths the chance to represent Nigeria.

To prevent a recurrence of the problem, Dabiri  wants the Sports Ministry to look into the matter.

Also commenting on the matter, Head Coach of Lagos State Boxing Association, Femi Babafemi, said he did not understand why Fijabi was made to pass through series of trials despite proving himself worthy in one of the trials of representing Nigeria at the Commonwealth Games.

“Despite this, the national coach still substituted him for Muideen. This is not good for our boxing,” he said

He, however, commended the President of Nigeria Boxing Federation, NBF, Rotimi George-Taylor and  its Technical Adviser, Ndika Nsofor, for their uprightness in ensuring that fair play is upheld at all times and that the best material is selected to represent the country at the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in India.

—Wale Joseph