NSF: Team Delta cry wolf in officiating of Gambe combat game

NSF: Team Delta cry wolf in officiating of Gambe combat game

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…Accuses state officials of abandonment

Team Delta in the traditional combat game of Gambe, has cried wolf in the manner and ways winners were declared at the semi-final round which held at the Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre on Monday, in Benin City.

The team protested that it was robbed of victory at the various weight categories: 75kg, 85kg, and 100kg by the biased presiding officials of the game, even though its fighters were better in performance.

The Head Coach, Paul Okonji who was obviously furious, told Journalists that the non-challant attitude and total abandonment of the Team in the competition by the State officials, was certainly a major contributory factor to their unfortunate woes.

According to him, Officials of the competition were financially influenced in their verdicts by representatives of certain States, with sum of money between N300, 000, and N400, 000.

But unfortunately for Team Delta, its State officials chose to abandon them to their fate in the entire competition, Okonji lament.

“Each time we compete against some of these States especially from the northern part of the country, we were condemned to lose.

“This is because, their State officials come to the venue with money to influence presiding Officials of the game.

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“We tried to reach our own State officials to come witness what is happening, but unfortunately, no response. What we are talking about here, is money.

“Anytime we met Kano, Edo States, we are robbed; we have the video clips of our claims.

Okonji asserts, that Team Delta was well prepared for the competition having used his personal resources to camp the athletes for one month, before the official camping of the State.

“So, it is painful only to come here and loose to manipulation of officials, because of financial inducement and abandonment by those who were supposed to be our protection; the State officials to the Sports Festival.

Delta State stopped at the semi final stage of the competition, winning bronze medal at the 55kg, and 65 kg categories.

At the time of filing this report, efforts to reach the State Officials for response was not successful, as sources alleged they were frolicking in their hotels.

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