SEPTEMBER 3, 2014 By Sahr Morris Jnr.
Sierra Leonean and Nigerian wrestlers will not compete in the forthcoming World Championship in Uzbekistan after it was confirmed by both the host country’s Public Health Ministry and the International Federation of Associated Wrestling (FILA).
It was earlier recommended by the Uzbekistan Health Ministry that athletes from the Ebola hit nations must not be invited for the tournament but FILA had asked them (Uzbekistan Health Ministry) to clarify their position on the matter.
However, after several deliberations it was agreed that both nations should not have their athletes in the Championship and a letter from the FILA boss, Lalovic, addressed to the respective presidents stated that Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, DR Congo and Nigeria should not travel to Uzbekistan for the Championship.
Earlier, a statement from the Uzbekistan Public Health Ministry representative stated: “Given the current Ebola-related epidemiological situation, we have recommended that the Organising Committee of the [World Wrestling] Championships abstain from inviting athletes from Ebola-hit West African countries.”
Seven wrestlers from Nigeria and two from Sierra Leone had requested to participate in the Championship, taking place in Tashkent from September 8 to 14.