Nigeria’s Michael Osewa’s dream of featuring in the 2016 ITF U14 European Tour is turning a mirage following the French Embassy refusal to issue him a visa.
Osewa was selected for the five-week programme alongside three others from Seychelles, South Africa and Kenya following his impressive performance at the CAT/ITF African Junior Championship in Pretoria, South Africa in March but was stunned as his application was turned down with the embassy claiming that his documents were forged.
“After submitting all relevant documents and also met the 15-day time limit, the embassy told us to come for the visa on Friday but to our surprise, they told us that they can’t issue the visa because the documents were forged,” Nigeria Junior tennis coach, Mohammed Ubale, said.
Ubale stated that all their explanations fell onto deaf ears of the embassy officials, adding that among the letters submitted with the application are the ones from the French Tennis Federation, International Tennis Federation, Confederation of African Tennis and Nigeria Tennis Federation.
He said: “We requested that even if they have any suspicion the right thing to do is to get in touch with the French Tennis Federation or the ITF but they say they can’t do anything on it again.”
Reacting, the NTF president, Engr. Sani Ndanusa, regretted the action of the embassy, saying he has been in contact with the ITF Headquarters in London, but the embassy won’t shift ground.
Ndanusa said: “What they are doing to Nigeria is very unfair. It’s even more insulting when they say his documents were forged. This is what this same French Embassy did to Emmanuel Idoko in 2012 when he was to go for the programme, and that was the reason we got all the letters from the relevant bodies.”
The tour would have seen Osewa feature with the best players across the world in tournaments in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany from July 4 to August 7.
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