P.M. News (Lagos)

4 September 2001

Nigeria: Madaki Unfolds Plans for Rugby

Lagos — The newly sworn-in President of the Nigeria Rugby Football Association (NRFA), Major-General Joshua Madaki (retd), has said that the priority of the present board of the newly constituted board of the association is to embark on intensive publicity and awareness campaign aimed at popularising the game of Rugby in Nigeria.

Madaki, who made this known recently during a press conference in Lagos said it was disheartening to note the deplorable state of Rugby in the country and the lack of awareness of the game by Nigerians.

Tracing the history of the sport to the early 1950s when the British established pioneer clubs such as the Lagos RFC and the Kaduna RFC, Madaki said the number of Rugby clubs in the country have since increased to 12. "You will be amazed to know that there are 12 clubs presently in Nigeria and a clubside in England called the London-Nigeria RFC with a generation of reputable professional players of Nigerian origin based in England, U.S.A, France and South Africa just to mention a few," he disclosed.

Continuing, he noted that despite having Rugby clubs in the country, there was no national Rugby body until 1998 when the present acting Secretary-General of the association, Ntiense Williams, returned to the country from Zimbabwe and liaised with Femi Williams and a few other individuals to establish a national association for Rugby and got it affiliated to International Rugby Board (IBB)

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