The hope of Nigeria wrestling trio of World Wrestling silver medalist, Odunayo Adekuoroye; nine-time African champion, Blessing Oborududu and Commonwealth Champion, Aminat Adeniyi participating at the Ranking Series Matteo Pellicone in Rome is in doubt following the failure of the Italian Embassy to issue them visas.
The trio together with the head coach of the Nigeria’s women wrestling team, Akuh Purity are expected to attend the Ranking Series Matteo Pellicone scheduled to hold from 4th to 7th March, 2021.
Adekuoroye, the World No. 2 in 57kg Women Wrestling is the only Nigerian to have qualified for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Games which runs from 23rd July to 8th August this year and the Ranking Series is expected to help others get into shape ahead of the Africa/Oceania Olympic qualifying tournament from 2nd to 4th April and the preceding 2021 African Championships from 6th – 11th April, both in El Jadida, Morocco.
In a chat with Sportinglife.ng, Akuh Purity said all efforts by the Nigeria Wrestling Federation and the organisers of the competition to ensure that the team get the visas have proved abortive.
“We are expected to attend the Ranking Series in Rome next week, but up till now, we are yet to secure a visa and we don’t know what the Italian embassy is doing. At the VSF, which is the submission center in Lekki, in Lagos, they said they don’t give people short stay. They told us to write a letter and we have done that. We have even gone to meet them at the embassy. Up till now, we’ve not heard from them.
“We have registered and organisers have sent an invitation to us. We’ve informed the organisers about the situation and the organisers told us they have called the embassy and even sent code to them. We have also written to the embassy but we have not received any positive response from them.
“We are thinking maybe by weekend , if nothing comes up, then we will decline participating in the competition. We are ready but the embassy is the issue right now.
“It is important for us to attend this competition because this is a Ranking Series used to rank the wrestlers. And then it’s been long since we attended international competition and we thought we can use this one to start on a big stage, then come back for the Olympic qualifying tournament and African Championship,” Purity told Sportinglife.ng.