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BNP Paribas World Team Cup: 43 Players, 13 Officials; Tournament Director Gives Honest Verdict

Kehinde Ijaola is by now, a household name in Nigerian tennis. He was recently handed the task of being the Tournament Director at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup Africa Qualification event in Abuja.

And for those who were at the tennis section of the National Stadium in Abuja, where the competition was held, there was hardly a time he was sitting. He was always on his feet.

For five consecutive days, he was either on the courts, in the players’ lounge, at the tennis federation Secretary’s office, on the walkway, discussion with one official or the other, or taking a moment to quickly eat. He was generally active.

At the closing ceremony, he was also on ground to ensure a smooth end to the World Team Cup competition which brought ten African countries together, the first time the qualification was experiencing this number, to Nigeria.

READ ALSO: BNP Paribas World Team Cup African Qualification: Organization Is Best So Far – ITF Rep

Nigeria Tennis Live therefore, sought his honest verdict on how the players fared, how the officials ranked, among other issues.

“Well, as you may have observed, we had 43 players and 13 officials for the event. The officials and players came from 10 countries and we were honored to have the Ambassadors of Tanzania and Egypt with us for the event.

READ ALSO: BNP Paribas WTC African Qualifier: I Want To Go Very Far – 55-Yr-Old Mouhaman

“Generally, the players’ conduct was very impressive. No fight, no quarrel, no misconduct by any of the players while on the court or off the court.

“They really enjoyed themselves and they totally abided by the rules of the game, especially when they were on the court. They followed the umpire’s instructions.

“The level of officiating was very high, there was no rancour whatsoever about the interpretation of the rules of the game,” the experience ITF-rated White Badge umpire explained in a chat with Nigeria Tennis Live.

Ijaola, one of the highly-rated Nigerian Umpires, also spoke about the significance of hosting ten nations in the country, which was also a first for the competition.

According to him: “This is the first time in the history of this competition that we’ll have this number of participating countries, this is a big kudos to the leadership of the Nigeria Tennis Federation led by Engr. Ifedayo Akindoju and the Secretary of the Federation, for making sure there’s enough publicity for this competition.

READ ALSO: South Africa Wins BNP Paribas World Team Cup Africa Qualification Event In Abuja

“The level of competition was also very high. If you look at the winners, they showcased their talents not leaving out the Nigerian team because coming out third among this number of countries is not an easy task.

“We’re looking forward to hosting this competition again next year”.

There you have it. Congratulations to all the participating countries at the World Team Cup event, all of whom should have arrived at their destinations as at the time this report was made.



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