National male handball team coach Solomon Yola on Thursday urged corporate bodies to support the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) in sponsoring the national team to attend international competitions.
Yola told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the greatest challenge facing the HFN was the problem of inadequate funding to execute the programmes it lined up.
He said sponsorship of the federation’s national teams to international competitions was a sure way of enhancing the development of the sport in the country.
“Samuel Ocheho, the HFN President, cannot solve all the problems of the federation alone. The federation needs more support from private companies,’’ the coach said.
He pointed out that Prudent Energy Company was the only organisation currently sponsoring the activities of the federation.
“But we are working hard to revive the lost glory of handball in the country. Therefore, all handball stakeholders are ready to intensify efforts to give the sport a new phase of life in the country.
“So, we want non-governmental organisations (NGOs), rich individuals and lovers of the sport to support the federation’s competitions, especially in the aspect of sponsorship,’’ Yola said.
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He noted that the federation had a good outing at the 2019 IHF Emerging Nations Championship in Georgia, which ended on Sunday with a total of 12 countries having taken part.
“I congratulate HFN, as we are very impressed with the outcome of the competition in Georgia. It was our first time to participate in such tournament and Nigeria finished seventh.
“Our purpose was to expose the players and that was achieved. I am so much impressed, especially as the technical team also did a very good work over there.
“We were six in our group, and we played five matches. Then, we now had two classification matches, for a total of seven matches overall.
“The only heavy defeat was our game with Georgia team, which we lost by a difference of 13 goals. But every other one we lost was not that bad, and the margin of loss was not large.
“We played against Georgia, Bulgaria, Ireland, the U.S. and Malta and in the classification matches we played against Colombia and China. We won the match against Colombia.
“But it was clear that the team improved in every match,’’ the coach said.