.Demand For Money Instead Of Standard Accommodation
By Ebenezer Osamo
Some Nigerian players participating in this year’s Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Open, openly embarrassed the Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF, as they demanded for their accommodation allowance instead of staying in the hotel provided for all the male players registered for the Main Draws of the international tournament.
The players were refused their hotel bills by the Local Organising Committee, LOC of the Governor’s Cup, which insisted that they stay in the International Tennis Federation, ITF-approved accommodation for the pro-circuit.
The players, who are yet to make any meaningful impact in the Governor’s Cup, shamefully cornered the President of Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF, Engr. Sani Ndanusa to demand for the accommodation money.
Not satisfied with the explanation given by the NTF boss, the players told eyeonthesports.com that; “They(LOC) used to give us the money meant for the accommodation in the past, but what we were told this year is that we must stay in the same hotel provided for all the players, including the foreign players in the main draws.
“The excuses given by the LOC is that some players have abused the privilege of getting their money for the accommodation and using it for something else.
“We don’t want the LOC hotel because it is too expensive. More so, we could get cheaper hotels to stay rather than the Eko Hotels and Suites, where they have mandated us to stay”, said some of the top players.
Ndanusa, who was rushing out for another engagement when the players cornered him, however told them to see him ‘later’ to lodge their complaints.
An embarrassed NTF boss however told the players that some of them use such rare gratification to drink excessive alcoholic drinks during the competition and squander cash around the Lagos Tennis Club, instead of spending it judiciously.
“I learnt you guys spend the money on beer consumption and some other things which are not good for your game” he said.
Prior to the commemncement of the ITF-rated pro-circuit, a top LOC official had told eyeonthesport.com that the players will not be given their accommodation allowance because they have abused the privilege.
“You can imagine the players drinking around after winning a few dollars from the first or second rounds, when their foreign counterparts are striving to attend tournaments with the little money they get from the Governor’s Cup here in Lagos.
“We decided not to give them a dime as accommodation allowance, if any of them is in the main draws, he should stay in the approved Eko Hotel, which is free for them as the LOC has paid to accommodate the players”, the official said.