During a year that yielded a rich harvest for Nigerian sports, 2022 also produced some of the country’s lowest moments in recent memory.
Moments of despair that filled the hearts of sports-loving Nigerians with pain.
From the absence of the Super Eagles in Qatar 2022 to the end of Nigeria’s dominance in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and another track and field doping scandal: disappointing moments abound.
Below are six such deep-sigh moments in Nigerian sports in 2022:
The lack of the Super Eagles World Cup
Barely a month after a disappointing elimination in the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), the Super Eagles taunted another painful loss to the Nigerians. A greater pain. They missed the Qatar 2022 World Cup against Ghana due to away goal rules.
A goalless draw in Kumasi was followed by a second leg in Abuja.
The result at the Moshood Abiola Stadium aggravated the fans who invaded the pitch after the game and damaged the facilities.
Ministry denies D’Tigress World Cup chance
On the list of the most controversial moves in the Nigerian sports climate in 2022, the decision of the sports ministry to withdraw the country from international basketball competition stands firm.
Before the self-ban, D’Tigress was scheduled to represent Nigeria at the FIBA Women’s World Cup in Australia from September 22 to October 1, 2022.
The team had been drawn into Group B along with Australia, Japan, France, Canada and Serbia.
The development forced FIBA to replace Nigeria with Mali in the competition, denying D’Tigress a tournament they have worked hard for and qualified for.
The ministry, however, revoked the ban, but the consequence had already been done.
Grace Nwokocha drug test
Nigeria’s achievement at the 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) is the country’s best in sporting competition in recent years. However, as the gold rush and excitement died down, news leaked that Grace Nwokocha, a sprinter, had failed a doping test.
The 21-year-old was among the Nigerian women’s 4x100m relay team that won the gold medal in the competition.
The Athletic Integrity Unit (AIU) He delivered to her a provisional suspension, banning her from the sport until the investigation has been fully carried out and the verdict has been communicated.
Nigeria’s gold medalist in the women’s 4x100m relay sits on thin ice next to Nwokocha.
The loss of Isreal Adesanya and Kamaru Usman
A double defeat for Nigeria in the UFC like Isreal Adesanya and Kamaru Usman lost their belt in 2022.
The first was Usman’s. beat to Leon Edwards, losing the UFC welterweight title he has held since 2019.
The “Nigerian Nightmare” submitted to a brutal kick to the head in the fifth round that left him sprawled on the canvas, blinking.
A few months later, Adesanya also got his middleweight title. snapped up of him in a similar way.
The “Last Style Bender” was released by Alex Pereira in the last round of a fight that he dominated.
The double defeat of Anthony Joshua
Oleksandr Usik finished his double win over Joshua in 2022.
The British-Nigerian was unable to avenge his 2021 loss to the Ukrainian and regain the WBA, IBF and WBO titles.
A split decision ensured Usyk kept his newly won belts, sending Joshua further down the boxing pecking order.
Nigerian athletes convicted of wire fraud in the US
In November, two Nigerian athletes were convicted in the United States for their involvement in a “complex fraud scheme.”
US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi said Emmanuel Ineh, the long jumper, and Toluwani Adebakin, the sprinter, pleaded guilty to charges of “sending thousands of ill-gotten proceeds to fraudsters in Nigeria as part of a larger conspiracy of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.” ”.
Ineh represented Nigeria at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, where she won silver, while Adebakin is a 200m and 400m runner.
Both defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on February 15, 2023 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
They are believed to be at risk of at least ten years in prison.