African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) President, Khaled El-Salhy -This agreement is the normal agreement between ITTF Africa and the host association thtat is taknig care of major event from our calendar. This is very important event for the first time to be in Africa, the top 16. We will like to secure optimum facilities for the event through corporation with ITTF, TMS and our links and this is a big experience for the host to ensure one top professional event in Africa for our stars. this event will be promoted to ITTF channels, website, Youtube and i believe there will be an important streaming on Youtube of this event from the ITTF.
I m expecting a lot because we are taking about a big tradition for table tennis in our continent. I was there this year when Lagos staged the international classics and completely satisfied with the organization, the media coverage, the full house spectators all the time. This time when we are speaking about an international event, a sanctioned event in the ITTF calendar, I m expecting also that top players from Europe will come for the world tour.I m expecting a lot promotion of our sport in TV, more respect from ITTF for our calendar activities and organization in big countries.
NTTF President, Wahid Oshodi
The important of this agreement is the fact that it tells the world that Nigeria is back on the table tennis scene and for an organization like the ITTF Africa to entrust such tournament to Nigeria tells you that we are on the right path. We are not there yet because there is still a lot of hard work to be done, so it is up to us now to go back home and start working so we can put up a fantastic show come June. It is a major tournament and this has not happen in Nigeria in a long time but we thankful that the classics held earlier on in the year went well but we saw one or two problems and we are going to be working very hard. The federation has to go back, do his own work so that we can put up a show to match anywhere in the world.
Coming to Lagos, the first thing you get is the warmth, the warm welcome from the people of Lagos. Lagos is appreciative of its sports men and this is going to be the best players from Africa and top players from the world coming to Lagos so they are going to have a fantastic time. If you remember the winner of the Lagos international table tennis classics, Omar Assar from Egypt for the support he received in Lagos. It was overwhelming. These are people who understand their sport, they understand their table tennis. They are going to be there doing their best to cheer the players on and very more importantly, we want them to come and take a good memories back home .
Our first experience at the Lagos open was that the popularity of the game is still very much high in Nigeria and we have to create viewing centers to enable a lot more people come in to see the event, so we will be looking at this between now and June. we will be doing quite a few events anyway and assess what needs to be done. i think a hall the size of thr Sir Molade Okoya-Thomas indoor sports hall is not possible to take the massive crowd we expected so we will be looking at other options to see where we can create viewing centres for the fans coming in. This is something we’ve started thinking about and we have plans to ensure that everybody who comes to the stadium gets a good view of the game and enjoy themselves.
ATTF Vice President, Olabanji Oladapo
The planing starts from today and definitely as the president of the federation said to you we are all set. I m happy that at long last we’ve moved forward and this is the beginning of so many things to come.
Exposure to our players, opportunities for many people to know that table tennis in Nigeria is back on track and improve the visibility of the sport and Lagos state as one of the states that promote sports.