Vanguard (Lagos)

8 December 2012

Nigeria: Husseini Backs Call for Open Sports Festival

Former tennis international, Bulus Husseini has thrown his weight behind calls for the National Sports Festival to be thrown open to allow anyone who can to participate, saying the festival as presently operated, no longer serves as hunting ground for discovering new talents.

He argued that the average age of players featuring in the festival makes it difficult to even hunt for talents.

Husseini, who used tennis to illustrate his points while speaking to Saturday Vanguard sports in Lagos, said the removal of age limits for participation in the festival and desperation of rich states to buy ready made athletes has rubbished the original aim.

"The standard of tennis is high because there are upsets. When you have the number one and number two beaten by by unseeded ones, there is reason to say it is high. But I am not happy because the ages of players in the this Eko'2012, festival does not create room to discover talents. When I participated in 1975, I played as U-18. So did Nduka Odizor and the rest. We were all discovered at that time and groomed and we attained the heights we could.

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