The organisers of the annual Chika Chukwumerije Sports Foundation (CCSF) International Taekwondo Tournament have postponed the staging of the third edition of the championship following the outbreak of Ebola disease across the West Africa region.
In a statement signed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)/Founder of CCSF, Chika Chukwumerije, the tournament has been postponed until further notice.
“In recent weeks, a new challenge in the form of the Ebola epidemic in the West Africa region has struck a fearful chord across the Nation, as attempts have been stepped up by the relevant authorities to confront this novel danger on Nigeria’s shores,” Chukwumerije said.
The three time Olympian added: “The 2013 CCSF Opens had 320 athletes in attendance from 8 countries, 24 Nigerian Sates, 6 Universities, 7 Clubs, the Nigeria Police, Armed Forces and Paramilitaries. In addition, there was an overall influx of 1,200 persons over the 2-day event. The 2014 edition is expected to be even bigger, with 11 countries (9 from West Africa) expected to be in attendance, and a total audience of 1,500 over the 2-day event (including 200 school children from 10 schools in FCT Abuja).
Continuing he said: “The best case scenario of tackling the viral spread is projected by some experts to be in the range of 3 – 6 months, during which the CCSF Opens is scheduled to take place. In light of the slim chance of providing an ideal environment for a highly unlikely scenario of an Ebola viral spread, organizers of the CCSF Opens have decided to err on the side of caution and postpone Nigeria’s best Taekwondo tournament till further notice. We would carefully watch the turn of events over the coming weeks and months before announcing a new date.
“We totally share in the overwhelming disappointment of all our major stakeholders – athletes, coaches, school children, and foreign guests – over this huge decision, but the policy is the CCSF is clear about putting the safety of stakeholders first in all our programs & activities. We will continue to have other local and regional programs and stay focused on achieving our long-term goals,” the Beijing Olympics medalist explained.