The story of two students of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO)who were wrongfully deported by Croatian Police has gone on air. But so much needs to be learnt from their bitter experience after they were subjected to harsh situation in Bosnia.
No doubt, the boys probably had a good intention they needed to have an international experience for the development of the game, but they were also being adventurous. It is good to be adventurous, but anyone who chose that path must learn to be on the right track.
First, the boys are back in the country now, safe and sound. The competition they went for was based on self-sponsorship according to AIPS Africa President, Mr. Mitchell Obi.
Moreover, both of them are not even the best table-tennis player in their institution (FUTO)as at when they went for the event. Perhaps suggesting that there was no formal invitation of FUTO as an institution in the competiton.
Mitchell Obi who further commented on the AIPS Rendezvous about the issue noted that NUGA, the University Games Association was also not part of the event in which the two boys went for.
However, Sports Intelligence Magazine is yet to ascertain if the competition was their first international experience as it is obvious that the manner in which they entered the streets, without proper use of their tags (accreditation) as a means of identification exposed them to lots of dangers.
But were the two boys issued accreditation tags for the competition? And if my guess is correct, then the answer to that question would be a Yes. And if Yes, why did they decide to move around the streets without wearing their accreditation tags.
When athletes, Journalists and all who participate in international Sporting competitions travel for such events, it is expected of such persons to wear their tags as means of identification wherever they go.
The boys requested that the Croatian Police officers who accosted them follow them to their hotel rooms for their documents. But maybe the Croatian police officers chose to behave like the average Nigerian Police men who is not interested in investigations.
The truth is, even when you go to a club to relax during a sporting event, the event accreditation tag is your first means of identity as no one can ascertain what could happen next.
In all competitions, accreditation tags are made so simple to wear such that there are no excuses for not wearing them. In most cases, accreditation for Sporting events carries the photograph of the bearer and in some cases acts as Visa, which makes it easy for the athletes wearing them to identify themselves easily.
Abie Uchenna Alexandra and Kenneth Chinedu who were subjected to this humiliation must also consider themselves as being lucky as they were not shot by the Police men. But there story is a lesson everyone in Nigeria wishing to be part of any sporting international event must learn from and toe the right path.