Members of the Nigeria Rugby Players Union on Thursday held a peaceful protest at the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) Secretariat situated inside the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
The aggrieved players who were seen carrying various inscriptions on placards delivered a letter to the NOC for onward transmission to the Honorable Minister for Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare.
In the letter sighted by Roving Naija and signed by the Union’s Chairman Gbenga Adeniran , the players reflected on the series of ban Nigeria has suffered in the past years and how those sanctions have been adversely affecting the growth of Rugby in the country as well as how detrimental these avoidable punishments have also cost the players.
“It is pertinent to note that the NRFF is yet to fully recover from a previous World Rugby ban in 2017 following the dissolution of the NRFF board by the former Minister for Youths and Sports Hon Solomon Dalung” the letter obtained by Roving Naija read in part.
The board of the NRFF is one of 30 Sporting Federation recently dissolved by the Sports Ministry.
This development saw Rugby Africa on Tuesday suspend Nigeria from all its activities.
The implication of the suspension is that Nigeria’s rugby national team (Black Stallions) will not participate in the 2023 Rugby World Cup African qualifier scheduled for Burkina Faso next month.
The suspension also affects the women national team earlier billed to feature in their first international championship this year in Burkina Faso.
Nigeria stands a chance of missing the Rugby World Cup African repechage tournament in Burkina Faso next month.