ABH VOLLEYBALL TEAM DISQUALIFIED FROM INTER-HALL COMPETITION
UI, IBADAN – So ended what seemed like “victory-in-sight” for the Alexander Brown HalVolleyball team few days after the Hall’s football team were knocked out of the inter-hall football competition, in both male and female categories.
On Thursday June 5, the Alexander Brown Hall volleyball team was embarrassingly disqualified from the UI Inter-hall competition on account of playing with a non-brownite against Sultan Bello Hall in the game.
Speaking with members of the team, they recounted the experience that led to their disqualification, describing it as exasperating and avoidable to say the least. “While members of the Sultan Bello Hall may have reacted to their defeat as “sore-losers”, it does not exclude or pardon the gross oversight and reckless disregard of the rules of the game by the ABH Volleyball team,” as reported by one of the team members.
It was said that the captain, Abiodun Taiwo had introduced a non-brownite to the team, in person of Segun who is a student of Ibadan Polytechnic (and also an airtime retailer at night in the hall) to the game on Wednesday. While this may have been described as an oversight on the part of the captain as Segun had frequently and righteously participated in the regular training sessions of the team during the weekends, some players found it difficult to reconcile the captain’s decision to not proceed with the game until Segun’s arrival, making the decision to include him in the game highly intentional. Having trashed Sultan Bello with two sets to nil and anticipating their next big game with Abdulsalam Abubakar Hall the next day, luck ran out of members of the ABH team after a member of the Sultan Bello Supporters’ Club identified Segun as a non-brownite.
This was brought to the attention of an enthusiatic professor, who then followed the case to the organizer of the volleyball competition, Coach Tony. Following the accusation, it was mandated that proof of evidence alongside the registration form of Segun be brought the following day (Friday), failure of which would lead to the team’s disqualification. Unfortunately for the team perhaps due to a faux pas in strategic planning, Segun failed to show up the next day for the verification, leading to the outright disqualification of the team with Sultan Bello Hall eagerly taking their place in the match against Abdulsalam Abubakar Hall.
This has sparked strong emotions among the volleyball community in the Hall as well as sports enthusiasts who argued that the use of “mercenaries“- a title given to outsiders who are not legal members of the hall, but are employed to aid a team in a sporting activity, has always been going on underground for a long while since the inception of the interhall games. Others argued, saying that the team should not have allowed such discreditable and highly reprehensible act be associated with the hall, as this action has put a stain on the Hall’s integrity and will certainly create room for suspicious monitoring and perhaps rigorous screening for the hall in subsequent games.
No word yet from the Sports ministry or the minister himself.