Following the men’s and women’s teams being disqualified from the ongoing 2022 ITTF Africa Senior Championships in Algiers, Nigeria did not participate in the qualifying round for the 2023 ITTF World Team Championships.
Nigeria had been listed as one of the 28 nations expected to compete for the continental spots in Algiers prior to the tournament’s start at the weekend, but the results of the event revealed that both the men’s and women’s teams from Nigeria arrived late for the group matches, preventing them from moving on to the knockout stage.
Quadri Aruna and Olajide Omotayo, who play for teams in Europe, were the only players to make it to Algiers, and Taiwo Mati, who represents teams in his own country, arrived late on Friday for the matches.
Aruna, Omotayo, and Mati failed to make it in time for the matches against Tunisia and Cote d’Ivoire, and they were walked over to allow those teams to advance to the quarterfinal stage. This was despite assurances from the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) that the men’s team would arrive for their group matches against those nations.
The event, which is the second time Africa will host the world championship after Egypt hosted the 1939 edition, acts as the continental qualifying round for the 2023 World Team Championships in South Africa, according to the African Table Tennis Federation (ITTF Africa).
In the meantime, NTTF President Ishaku Tikon bemoaned the team’s inability to participate in the competition due to a lack of funding and expressed hope that the three of Aruna, Omotayo, and Mati would make their presence felt in the doubles and singles categories.
After defeating Algeria and Tunisia in the championship match without its archrival Nigeria, Egypt yesterday successfully defended its crowns in the men’s and women’s team competitions.
The host nation Algeria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Morocco, Libya, Mauritania, Congo DRC, Egypt, South Africa, Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Tunisia, Zambia, Uganda, Mauritius, and the Benin Republic are among the teams competing in the seven-day championships.