Handball: Team Nigeria Women Through to All-Africa Games

Nigeria women’s handball team have clinched their slot in the 2015 All-Africa Games (AAG), but the men’s team will not be competing in the championships.

The winner of the men’s events at the just concluded zonal qualifier in Niamey claimed the sole ticket to the AAG, scheduled for September 4 through 19 in Brazzaville, Congo. Nigeria lost to Cote d’Ivoire 32-25 in a thrilling finale.

The Nigeria women’s team had secured a spot in the AAG after their 17-16 win over rivals Cote d’Ivoire in the last group match, and went on to finish with a flourish with a 34-32 victory over Burkina Faso in the final to confirm their superiority in the zone.

The final was decided by the lottery of penalties after both sides ended the fourth overtime tied on scores. Both Nigeria and Burkina Faso will represent the zone in the women’s event of the AAG

Technical director of the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN), Pat Atusu, who led the country’s contingent to Niamey noted that the men’s team deserved to be at the AAG and questioned why only a solitary slot was awarded to the zone.

“I must praise the Nigerian teams for their splendid performance, though it was not enough to get the men’s team to the AAG,” Atusu said.

“The women were flawless in their defeat of favourites, Cote d’Ivoire, in the last group game as well as their pulsating final against Burkina Faso.

“I wish the confederation of Africa Handball (CAHB) had given two slots to the male category.”