Niger Wins African Traditional Wrestling Tournament

By Tim Foley

Six countries took part in an African traditional wrestling tournament last week in Niger. Teams from Benin, Burkina-Faso, Mali, Nigeria and Togo joined the host country in a dual meet format competition.

The tournament, which was live broadcast to millions in Niger and surrounding countries, drew a raucous crowd of more than 20,000 spectators. After two days of back and forth wrestling, host Niger came away with the top team prize.

In addition to the action in the sand, Wrestling Federation of Niger president Elh Boubakar CANDA SEYDOU welcomed UWW-Africa president Fouad MESKOUT (MOR) to Niamey to enjoy the event and meet local officials hoping to grow the sport in Africa.

The event was also attended by seven presidents of African national wrestling federations and the interaction helped create opportunities for members of UWW-Africa to meet and work together charting a development program for both traditional and Olympic wrestling.

Meskout also delivered a pair of trophies in appreciation of the Niger’s government’s assistance in growing the sport of wrestling.  Prime Minister “Mr. Brigi RAFINI and for the Minister of Youth and Sport Abdoulkarim DAN MALAM were handed the trophies during during a ceremony at the Ministry’s headquarters.