The global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) to cancel the 2020 edition of the Challenge Plus Nigeria Open scheduled for between August 18 and 22 this year.
The tournament, which is Africa’s elite tournament, attracted top global stars from the world’s top 200 players in past editions
According to the Chairman of the LOC, Wahid Enitan Oshodi, “it is pertinent to be realistic about what is presently happening globally and that is why we have decided to cancel the tournament this year because nobody knows when the pandemic would disappear.”
He stated that the athletes’ health was always the main priority of the LOC because they are the main actors.
“We also have to think about the safety and health of the large numbers of fans that throng the stadium to watch the event.
“We are pained that we have to cancel the tournament this year because all plans were in place to stage a befitting tournament while our sponsors are also looking forward to an exciting tournament considering what we witnessed in 2019.
“But we are constrained by this pandemic to cancel this year’s edition and we are looking forward to being part of the new World Table Tennis (WTT) Series in 2021,” Oshodi concluded.
However, there are plans by the LOC, Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) and the Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) to stage a special invitational tournament toward the end of the year with top players across the world expected to grace the event.