*Give us N30m a year, we return from Tokyo 2020 with gold
President of Taekwondo Federation of Nigeria, Mr. George Ashiru, has pleaded with the Federal Government to put the association to test by giving it N30 million every year and get a gold medal in the event at every Olympic Games.
Ashiru, who decried the neglect of Taekwondo in the country by the promised to take such a test seriously, saying the country can benefit immensely because, according to him, the sport has brought glory to the country in the past.
Speaking at the 1st Calabar Taekwondo Open Championship which ended at the weekend, the Taekwondo boss recalled that the sport has produced at 16 gold medals at the World Championships and four medals at the Olympics, boasting that there is no other sport that has produced such number of medals for the country.
“If the federal government will give my association N30m every year, I promise to produce an Olympic gold medalist for the country.
But so far, Taekwondo has been neglected and this is the sport that has produced more medals in international competitions than any of the forty six sports in the country,” Ashiru, who is referred to “Grandmaster” said.
Similarly, a former national champion in the heavyweight category of the sport, and a Silver medalist in the 1992 Olympics held in Barcelona, Spain, Engr. Emmanuel Peters Oghenejobo, faulted the federal government for not giving the sport priority.
Oghenejobo who, apart from winning a silver medal in Spain, had also won a gold medal at the All Africa Games that took place in Egypt in 1991 and gold in the World Championship in 1993, explained that government was denying the country of medals in the sport because of poor funding.
“As the most senior international referee in Nigeria, I spend about N7m yearly for international referee event, promotion and other engagements.
The federal government should realise that if they fund Taekwondo adequately, the failure we often experience in Olympics will be a thing of the past because this sport is capable of giving the country medals,” the ex-champion said.