To officially seal the hosting of the Lagos World Tour, the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) and International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) will this week in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sign the agreement on the tournament.
All the countries hosting the 2014 World Tour are expected to be present at the14th ITTF World Tour Grand Finals to conclude the arrangement for the championships.
NTTF will be led by its president, Wahid Oshodi while officials of the African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF) led by its president, Khaled El-Salhy and its vice president, Olabanji Oladapo will also be in attendance to witness the agreement singing.
Speaking on the importance of the event, Oladapo said this is the final confirmation to the hosting nations in terms of the equipment and other modalities for the World Tour.
“I want to say this is the final step at confirming that any nation is hosting the World Tour. The tour is one of the qualification avenues for players to qualify to play in the World Tour Finals. So it is necessary that the presence of NTTF especially its president is required at the sign ceremony holding this week in Dubai. We as executive of ATTF will also be present at the event and we are hoping that this will open more opportunities for Nigeria,” the ATTF boss said.
He added: “The first Lagos Classics had opened the door for so many opportunities to Nigeria and like someone said to me that they thought that Nigeria was dead in terms of table tennis and that with the staging of the Lagos Classics, he was shocked at the way things are going. In fact, with the speed that we came out, it was as if we are waiting for this. That is exactly the way I want to define it that even up to the president of the ITTF, Adam Sharara, his comments, writings, and discussions has been encouraging. He said the fire is back in Nigeria and I am sure with the leadership, cooperation and advise of all of us, things will get better. ITTF sees Nigeria now as a flying country in terms of table tennis.”
He however, expressed optimistic that Lagos is capable to stage the World Tour come June this year.
“I want to say publicly that on behalf of the leadership of the table tennis community in Nigeria and the leadership of the world table tennis led by Adam Sharara, we are grateful to the Lagos State government for the opportunity they provided for the Lagos classics and the forthcoming Lagos World Tour this year, which is going to dovetailed into Africa Top 16,” Oladapo said.
It will be recalled that the NTTF and ATTF finalized the arrangement for the Africa Top 16 Cup holding in Lagos as well as during the last World Junior Championships in Rabat, Morocco.