The Confederation of African Handball has lifted its ban on Nigeria after the Handball Federation of Nigeria paid the outstanding debt of €9,800 (N3.1m).
The HFN was banned by the CAHB in June 2016 for owing affiliation fee as well as participation money for the January 2016 African Men’s Handball Championship.
The country was unable to take part in the 2016 African Women’s Handball Championship in Angola last month – a competition which was a qualifier for the 2017 World Women Handball Championships. Angola won the competition.
The ban drew the ire of handball stakeholders in the country as they called on the government to bail the federation out of the problem.
However after series of meetings between the sports ministry and the HFN, the money needed to settle the debt was released to the federation in December.
HFN president, Yusuf Dauda, on Friday told our correspondent that the federation had settled the debt owed CAHB and the ban was lifted immediately after the payment.
“The ban has been lifted now that we have fully settled the debt we owed CAHB, the official body of handball administration in Africa. It was very unfortunate that we had to go through more than six months of absence from international competitions before we could sort this out,” he said.
“The financial commitment of the federation in terms of affiliation fees and international competitions come from the ministry and after the ban was placed on us, we communicated it to them.
“It had to take this long because the money was not released on time and we had to wait till the ministry was able to provide it. Now we have settled it and we can return to international competitions as soon as possible.”
Dauda lamented the inability of the country’s women’s handball team to participate in the December 2016 African Women’s Handball Championship, which also ruled out the country’s chances of qualifying for the 2017 World Women’s Handball Championship in Germany in December.
He said, “It is a good thing that we have returned to continental participation in competitions but it is regrettable that we missed out on the opportunity to qualify for the 2017 World Women’s Championship as a result of our inability to play in the African Women’s Championship last year.
“But I believe that we will emerge from this stronger in the competitions coming up this year, which we will take part in. The handball family is grateful to the ministry for eventually coming to our resuce on this issue. We hope it will be a good beginning for us.”