Coach Bashir Bassey at Beijing Olympics

By Raphael Ekpang

Former Olympian, Coach Bashir Bassey has said that Nigeria is yet to found her fit in the game of judo.

Coach Bassey who led Judo athletes as the head coach to the Beijing Olympics decried the level of decay in the sports, adding that the last result from the All African Games in Algiers was a confirmation to that..

In an exclusive interview with Instant Africa sports, he said the one time loving sport in Nigeria is suffering today from lack of not having the right people to manage the game.

“Well as far as Judo is concern in Nigeria and Africa in particular for now Judo as a sport in Africa, Nigeria is yet to found her fit. You can see that from the last All Africa Games in Algiers where for the first time Nigeria could not win even a bronze medal, and we know the position of Africa in Olympics.

“We hardly win a bronze medal and where you see Nigeria couldn’t win a bronze medal at the last AAG in Algiers and you want to wonder what is Nigeria struggling to go and do at the Olympics,” Coach Bassey queried.

“The main problem we are having in the game is having the right people in the right places, and that has to do with leadership. If you have a very prolific and well informed leaders in the field where you are pursuing a particular program or project, you are bound to do well and you will be able to appoint or bring in those who can manage the affairs even if you does not have the technical ability you should be able to bring in people who can help you, and that ability to identify who can help you is one of the qualities in leadership and I think we are lacking that in Nigeria for now.

“ Another problem is lack of exposure, Judo is not well publicise and it does not have a program like I told you before, it has to do with leadership getting people to come at the right time and the right places, so, I want to believe that we can do better.

Coach Bassey was one of the Judokas who pioneer Nigeria appearance in the championships in 1979, and holds one of the highest judo coaching certificates in Africa by the international Judo Federation Academic obtained in College of Physical Culture and Sports in Leipzip, Germany.

Coach Bassey with International Judo Federation President. Marius Vizer

“In Hungary, in 1983 I was there in Germany alongside people like James Peter. I hold modern certificate in caching and because of that I am able to see what others might not be able to see as regard judo, if anybody calls me, we have many ways to proffer solutions to the problem of judo in Nigeria for the sake of the country.

“I am an ambassador of judo in most of the States, hardly can you find a state that I have not worked or my children have not represented to pick a medal. I think we can get it right if we really want to.

“Nigeria is a very serious country; it is just that sometimes we behaved as if we don’t know what we are doing. They are very many people who can revamp our economy, bring about progress in sports in many field just as we are doing outside, in diaspora” he stated.







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