The Africa/Oceania Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Qualifiers earlier scheduled to hold between 13th – 15th March, in El Jadida, Morocco, has been postponed as a precaution over rising concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The United World Wrestling, the governing body of the sport, stated “The Moroccan authorities have decided to take measures against the spread of COVID-19 and not authorize the holding of international sport events until end of March.”
“The African & Oceania OG Qualifier is therefore postponed until a new date that will be communicated on a later stage. It [the tournament] may now take place in the course of April or May,” the statement read.
Meanwhile the president of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) Hon. Daniel Igali has reacted to this latest development saying the postponement is just a delay to the qualification to the Nigerian wrestlers.
“The postponement of the tournament is only delaying the qualification of our athletes for the Olympics. And I am sure that very soon, the situation will be resolved. However, the organizers are taking precaution to ensure the safety of the participants.” Agali said.
The Nigeria contingent has been in camp intensifying preparation for this tournament for two weeks. With this change in scheduling, the wrestlers are expected to given a break until there is a new date for the tournament.
COVID-19 has continued to hinder several sporting events and could decide if the Olympics in Tokyo will be staged or not, considering 80 countries have been affected by its break-out.