Nigeria will no longer participate at the 16th Africa Youth Handball Men Championship as the Confederation of Africa Handball (CAHB) has canceled the competition.
The championship, which was to hold from March 16 to 21, 2021 in Agadir, Morocco, was cancelled alongside the 27th Africa Junior Handball Men Championship according to the continent’s handball governing body’s secretary general, Charles Omboumahou who informed Presidents of National handball federations of the development in a letter.
The reason for the cancellation is because the council of the International Handball Federation (IHF), in a virtual meeting last Friday elected to cancel IHF Men’s Junior (U21) World Championship which was to hold in Hungary from June 22 to July 4, 2021 and IHF Men’s Youth (U19) World Championship which was to hold in August 2021 in Greece because of COVID-19 restrictions imposed by some countries.
According to the world governing body, “restrictive measures imposed by countries, preventing teams from preparing for the events as planned, as well as travel restrictions in place resulting in difficulties in travelling to events” necessitated the decision to out rightly cancel some key events.
And this development ensured that CAHB took the hard decision the two qualifying continental championships, Omboumahou revealed while also apologising for every inconvenience caused by the cancellation.
The National Under 18 Male Handball team has been undergoing intensive training camp at the Aguiyi Ironsi Cantonment in Abuja ahead of the competition, which is a qualifier for the world championship.
The National Cadet team came third at the previous Africa Youth Championship held in Marrakech, Morocco and subsequently secured a ticket to the world championship held in Macedonia in 2019 where they were one of the best performing teams.
Meanwhile, President of the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN), Samuel Ocheho has described the new development as disappointing to the players who were yearning to be good representatives of their fatherland in the Championship.
He, however, promised that the federation would ensure they engage the boys in training camps in preparation for future competitions.