NSF: Another day of shame at final of boxing event
By Kingsley Abavo, Benin
Tuesday, 13 April, 2021 would go down on record in the history of sports in Nigeria, as another day of show of shame at the boxing event of the 20th National Sports Festival in Benin-City, Edo State was recorded.
Trouble started when the judges declared Lagos winner against Ogun in the 65kg category final at the Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre, Venue of the boxing event.
The decision of the presiding judges was contrary to the expectation of many of the spectators who believed that the Ogun State boxer did enough to have been winner of the bout.
Spontaneously, pandemonium ensued in protest as the angry supporters converted every available item: chairs and tables to weapon of attack. They were flying in the air from one point to the other in the hall.
To say hell was let loose, was an understatement as Officials scampered for their life; but security operatives came to the rescue.
Benjamin Ihenebor, venue manager, and Edo State representative in the boxing event in response, condemned the uproar.
The rule of the game say, if you are aggrieved with any action or decision of the officials, anything else, you have the right to immediately put up a petition before the next fight begins, Ihenebor said.
You are not permitted to take laws into your hands no matter what happens, he warned.
On Saturday, smooth flow of proceedings was disrupted by intermittent breaking apart of the canvas base of the boxing ring, with officials doing emergency repairs.
But it came to a point where the boxers tripped over when they unconsciously stepped into the valley like spots created on the canvas, thus negatively impacting their quality of performance in the ring.
Consequently, Officials were forced to stop proceedings till the following day being Saturday, to enable replacement of the inferior and damaged canvas base.
Angry spectators tongue lashed the organizers for not putting in place a quality canvas base for a competition as huge as the NSF.