Odizor Pulls out of NTF Presidency Race  

Nigeria’s most successful tennis player, Nduka Odizor, will no more be running for the top position of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) due to what he referred to as ‘some unethical practices that do not tally with my personal principles’.
Odizor, who dominated the stage in the 80s and emerged as the only Nigerian player to have reached the Round of 16 of the famous ‘All England Club Tennis (Wimbledon) Tournament, disclosed at the weekend that, “I collected the form, filled it out and met all the conditions set before realising certain practices which I do not feel very comfortable passing through to be elected into that office (of NTF board).
“Rather, I have redirected my efforts to build a new generation of tennis players in the country. I will use my tennis foundation to set up six tennis development centres across the nation in partnership with some existing organisations.
“All the six centres will be in place before the end of December 2018. Apart from this, I have a special tennis programme for all the states in the Niger Delta region.
“Whoever eventually wins the Presidency of the NTF will enjoy a cosy, maximum support structure from my team. Three key championships will be worked out to return to make more champions out of Nigeria. They are the Lord Rumens, Ogbe Hard Court and the Dala Clay Court. I will not jettison these visions I had laid out to achieve for the country.
“I don’t have to belong to the tennis board to be able to contribute my quota to the game that brought me fame, name and all I am today. I remain ever grateful to Nigeria, tennis and it is time to resurrect the sport. That is what I have committed myself to achieve,” observed Odizor who most tennis aficionados were looking up to for redemption of the game in the country.
He promised further that the first of his tennis centres will become reality this week.
“To show my commitment, by next (this) week, the first centre will become public. It is our desire to make this first centre support the campaign for breast cancer, a campaign I have devoted my time to prosecute and wants to make a serious public issue on in our country.
“This year alone, I will be bringing in equipment worth about N10million. Nigeria and Nigerians will be made to enjoy following tennis again. I will also work hard to see that the investments in our tennis grow to about N100m before the year-end. My dream to produce greater players, male and female than I was, has started in earnest,” he explained in an interview with www.gongnews.com.
In a related development, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, yesterday released the revised timetable for the National Sports Federations elections.
In the latest timetable, the deadline for submission of forms has now been shifted forward to May 19, 2017 while the verification of names of representatives of other constituencies except those from the zones will take place between May 23rd and 24th, 2017. 
Zonal elections are scheduled to hold on May 25, 2017 while bye elections arising from petitions and appeals at Zonal and Constituency levels will take place on June 7, 2017.
The June 13 date set aside for the elections into the positions of federations’ Presidents and Vice Presidents still remain the same while the inauguration of the boards of the national sports federations will hold on July 13, 2017.