According to The Punch, a Nigerian newspaper giant, players in Team Nigeria for the ITF/CAT African Junior Championship were on Friday denied visas by the South African embassy in Abuja.
The ITF/CAT event is slated to hold from March 9 to 18 in Pretoria, South Africa.
National junior tennis coach, Mohammed Ubale, said the development was a big blow to the country’s preparations for the tournament.
“The South African Embassy took us by surprise this morning (Friday) by denying five out of the six players that are going for the AJC,” Ubale was quoted saying.
“We submitted our passports 10 days ago and they have kept requesting for one thing or the other which we presented to them before they gave us an appointment to come and collect it on Friday which was why we fixed our departure for Saturday (today).
“Our plan was to travel earlier,” he had said.
Ubale and Marylove Edwards were the only two of the seven-man contingent who were granted visas for the tournament billed for the ITF High Performance Centre, Pretoria.
The Nigeria Tennis Federation president, Sani Ndanusa, who as of Friday afternoon was making efforts to resolve the problem, said “It’s very frustrating”.
According to him, “virtually all the countries were scheduled to arrive the venue on Saturday but from what is on ground, the earliest we can be in South Africa is Monday.”
Those that were denied visas are Angel McLeod, Christopher Itodo, Christopher Bulus, Gabriel Friday and Michael Osewa.