The Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF) has now put behind the problem that affected the smooth running of its activities following the ratification of the federation’s constitution by the elected board led by Kelechi Mbagwu.
With this, NRFF has taken a giant step towards getting readmitted by the International Rugby Union who had mandated the Nigerian body to hold it Annual General Meeting and ratify its constitution.
At an extra-ordinary Annual General Meeting, attended by delegates from the various state chapters, and representative of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Ministry of Youth and Sports, and an EXCO member of the continental governing body, Rugby Afrique, the federation endorsed the constitution and set out a programme of action for the 2018 season.
Speaking after the meeting, elated boss of NRFF, Kelechi Mbagwu said, “I feel relieved at this stage because if we had failed, we would have been back to square one. A country that is not internationally recognised is not going to live up to its full potential,” he remarked.
He commended members of the board for their show of solidarity and said the board was now set for business and hoped to actualised most of its programme this year following the interest of several corporate bodies who are waiting in the wings moments the international body endorses the legitimacy of the board.
“As for what we are set to do now, the local league has to be properly funded. At the moment we have 20 teams, next year we look forward to an increase in that number and so on.”
Mbagwu also said that some corporate bodies like Fidelity Bank and Vodacom have indicated interest in funding Nigerian rugby.
On his part, Khaled Babbou who represented Rugby Afrique said he was happy with what he saw. “This is what we have been waiting for and rugby is set to open a new chapter in Nigeria and we will be happy to welcome the country back to the international fold.
He, however, said that he would have to submit a report to the continental body and believes the outcome would be positive. “And it is not going to be long,” he assured Nigerian rugby stakeholders.