The tournament director of the ITF Futures holding in Abuja, Barr. Ikani Agabi has called out Nigerian tennis players as regards the issue of wild cards for the event.
In a chat with TennisNG, Barr. Agabi reiterated that no Nigerian player has made an application for a wild card, whereas foreign players have been the ones making the efforts.
He disclosed that the organizers would not just hand over a wild card to the home players as they do not want past mistakes to reoccur.
“We’ve had none (no requests) from the Nigerian players. But we’ve had applications from players from Kenya, France and Germany.
“Mistakes were made in the past. Players who were given wild cards were unaware of the fact that they’ve been given wild cards because they made no such applications. Their matches were called and they were walked over,” the tourney director said.
It was also noticed that no home player is on the qualifying list for the Dayak Tennis Championship (the second leg of the ITF Futures) and the tournament director addressed the issue, saying: “What’ll happen for the qualifying is that you’ll come on the day of qualifying and register. The Nigerian players will register and get into the qualifying draw, IF there aren’t a lot of players who have already registered.”
It’ll be difficult for players who can’t get into the qualifying to get a wild card, according to the tournament director.
“The wild card is controlled. We have just four wild cards and then another four for qualifying. On the issue of wild card, if you make an application, you stand a chance. If you don’t, then you don’t.
“Nigerian players need to start taking responsibilities,” he concluded.