P.M. News (Lagos)

20 April 2004

Nigeria: NTF May Name Akinloye As Coach

Lagos — The Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), is likely to name Rotimi Akinloye as coach of the country's tennis team to the Athens 2004 Olympics billed for August.

The federation has delayed naming the technical adviser to the tennis team because of lack of fund to hire the foreign coach it desires. This development has, therefore, prompted NTF to look once again in the direction of Akinloye.

Akinloye, who has been a part time coach with the Nigerian tennis team at most major competitions, has helped greatly to achieve progress for Nigeria in African tennis.

The ex-international coached the Nigerian tennis team to win four gold medals at the 8th All Africa Games. He also tutored the team to gain promotion to Group 3 of the Euro-Africa Davis Cup Zone last March in Dakar, Senegal after several failures.

Scribe of the NTF, Segun Oguntade, told P.M. Sports that Akinloye would have been employed much earlier, but explained that the inability of the tennis federation to pay him forced it to use him on part-time basis.

"Akinloye is an ITF-ranked coach and the federation does not have enough money to pay him or any ITF coach for that matter. ITF spent a lot of money to train him and also sent him to train others. So, we need a lot of money to pay for his services," he said.

The choice of Akinloye is seen as the best option for Nigeria because a foreigner may incur more expenses on the federation through cost of travelling, accommodation and allowances which may be too much for the federation to bear.

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