Daniel Igali, President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) will today (Tuesday) address the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in St Petersburg, Russia, over the reported withdrawal of the wrestling event from the 2020 Olympic Games.
A couple of months ago, the IOC decided they will exclude wrestling from the Olympic games on the ground that the event does not pull enough crowd to justify its inclusion.
Igali is one of the five panelists selected by world wrestling governing body, FILA, for the presentation to the IOC Executive Board at the SportAccord conference in St Petersburg, Russia.
Igali, a Nigerian- Canadian wrestler who won a gold medal in Men’s Freestyle (69kg) at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, spoke with journalists at the airport on Saturday. He opined that the IOC decision to withdraw wrestling from the 2020 games is wrong, adding that FILA has proved the IOC statistics at the London 2012 Games wrong as more people attended wrestling event than some of the sports at the Olympic.
“It is a simple logic,” Igali who won Canada’s first gold in the wrestling category said. “There is no way there will be an Olympic Games without wrestling. IOC took the decision in error and we are ready to prove them wrong. Those who voted for the exclusion of wrestling about two months ago won with one vote but I am sure that the IOC Congress will overturn the decision after they must have listened to our presentation at St Petersburg.”
Speaking on his plans for Nigeria’s medal potential at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, Igali disclosed that his roadmap to Rio will surely fetch Nigeria medal, but “we need funds to activate our plans.”
Following FILA’s presentation, the IOC Executive Board will vote on which of wrestling, baseball & softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu, it will include on a short- list that the entire IOC Session will vote on in September. Only one of the eight sports vying for a spot will be part of the 2020 Olympic Games.