Cross River decries Federal Government’s neglect of sports sector

Chief Orok Duke

The Chairman of Cross River Sports Commission, Chief Orok Duke has carpeted the Federal Government for not sponsoring the Cross River Female Table Tennis team, the Canaan Table Tennis Club to the just concluded 2017 African Clubs Table Tennis Championship held in Agadir, Morocco.

Duke also chided the Federal Government for neglecting 43 other sports federations in the country and only placing emphasis on football. He said, “This is killing sports development in the country. In other countries, football clubs are even made to adopt three other sports but here it is not so”

Duke who was narrating the ordeal of the state’s contingent in Calabar on Monday on arrival from Morocco, said it was ridiculous for the Canaan Queens, who won a silver medal for Nigeria in the continent to be treated with “disdain and ingratitude by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports.

“While in Morocco, not even the Consul General nor his subordinates were on ground to accord us the due protocol as the flag bearers of the country, hence we entered and departed as orphans. Were we to be footballers, I am pretty sure this could not have been applicable even if Nigeria ended up losers after the match, yet here we, as second best in a continent of about 56 or so countries, were unheralded.”

He revealed that the Canaan Table Tennis Club got the nod to represent Nigeria based on their antecedents and past records as African champions.

Duke, who is also the state Chairman of the Table Tennis Association and recently elected for the fourth tenure to represent the South – South zone on the board of the NTTF, however, thanked Governor Ben Ayade for picking the bills of the players that did Cross River and Nigeria proud.

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