The National Men Handball team finished last at the Africa Handball Nations Cup, which ends today in Libreville, Gabon.
The Nigerian team lost to Cameroun 27-19 in the game played yesterday at Le Palais des Sports de Libreville to decide the team finishes 9th and 10th. The Camerounians dominated the game-winning both stanza 16-10, 11-9 for a total score of 27-19.
The Nigerian team fought back in the second half, but their West African neighbours did enough to keep them (the Nigerians) at bay to win the game and claim the 9th position.
In a WhatsApp message to NationSport, Coach Mgor Michael Taangahar attributed the team’s poor performance to the dearth of competition in the country. He said that most of the players were rusty and needed competitions to be in top shape.
“What happened at the Nations Cup is an eye opener to handball stakeholders and not only the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN). We need to have competitions that will keep the players active for the major part of the year. We also need to upgrade our league as soon as possible,” Tangahar added.
The coach also noted that developmental and age-grade programmes should be a top priority while calling for the retraining of coaches at all levels.
With this performance, the HFN will have to look inwards and fashion out ways to bring the game back on track as it was evident that the team suffered in Gabon due to lack of activities for several years.