by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
It will be followed immediately by the African Club Championships which will commence on Tuesday 11th July and conclude on Thursday 13th July.
An agreement with Hajji Monqid, President of the Royal Moroccan Table Tennis Federation and Khaled El-Salhy, President of the African Table Tennis Federation was signed recently in the presence of Chérif Hajem ITTF Executive Vice President.
Olalekan Okusan, it ITTF-Africa Press Officer spoke to Khaled El-Salhy, the President of the African Table Tennis Federation regarding the forthcoming events in Agadir.
The Executive Council of African Table Tennis Federation has decided to step the event down from Mozambique due to some lack of communication and delay in signing the contract for such important event. The new host will be Agadir in Morocco at the same venue and hotel used for the 2016 ITTF African Championship last October.
I understand that it is quite difficult for any nation to host a major event in a short time but we count on the experience of the Royal Moroccan Table Tennis Federation having hosted many International Table Tennis Federation and African Table Tennis Federation events in the last five years. I believe they have a very good option in terms of hospitality and venue.
We sent the draft contract to Mozambique on Sunday 1st January 2017; they have not yet signed. Also, the lack of communication may pose a big problem for the event’s organization, despite the fact that we have the received their official bidding form and a written letter of approval from the Government.
For sure Mozambique is quite new association and they hosted the 10th African Games in 2011. We accepted their bid to host such important event to help them in terms of promotion, as well as getting quality equipment, with top African stars playing the tournament in Maputo.
The Executive Committee decided in Agadir to give the event to Mozambique due to their bidding form and letter of guarantee. We were expecting more interest to host such event but we always keep a back-up plan with possible replacement, which was for this event to hold in either Nigeria or Morocco.
After all chances given to Mozambique to sign the contract, the deadline was end of March, I was in contact with Morocco in the last few months as to whether they could be ready. They gave me the green light to sign the contract in Tunisia as soon as the Executive Committee decided to such replacement.
Also, I have to thank Nigeria who could have hosted the event but because they have a very big event in Lagos every year, the ITTF World Challenge Nigeria Open in August, the event is only some few weeks after the African Cup.