22 players have been confirmed for the Snooker Open Classics, “Balls, Sticks and Holes II” which will be holding from Saturday, 25th to 26th May 2019 at the Snooker and Billiards section of the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja Lagos. The two days event is offering a total prize fund of N350,000.00 (Three hunderd and Fifty Thousand Naira) in the local Nigeria currency.
Leading the pack of Nigeria’s the top snooker players who have registered the participate in the Open Classics include Femi Akinlade, Wole Akintola, Victor Okwueku, Nojeem Waliu, winner of the 1st Femi Robinson Snooker Open Classics and who happens to be a Pool players.
Other include John Gideon (Pool Player), Olu Fagbemi, Edward Fatona, James Ebo, Ademola Ogunnusi, Edafe Odudu, Kanayo Oluwole, Jimmy Babatunde, Emmanuel Ilozor, Nimi Oruye, Kareem Sani, Bolaji Obasa and captain of the section, Osasogie Osazuwa.
Snooker is one of the cuesports game which seems to be the exclusive reserve of the privilege elite. And, it is only available in membership restricted recreational club that restrict their tournaments to mostly members or invited guest players.
To address this challenge, the leadership of the Lagos Country Club (LCC) Snooker and Billiards section had in very recent time adopted the “Open” format for it’s major events, a new strategy to improve public access, popularity and awareness about the game.
Cuesports spoke to Wole Akintola about the event,
“The game of snooker is not very popular in Africa. I think the best players are South Africans and in Nigeria we are trying to have a good ground swell but we are not there yet”
“We need a lot of sponsorship for people for people to improve their game and be able to compete in the African Tournament first; before the African tournament can now do qualifiers to qualify for major events abroad. We don’t have the machinery yet but hopefully we will get there bit by bit”
The Snooker Open Classic is coming at a time when Snooker will be the first time feature as a medal sports at the 12th All Africa Games scheduled to hold from 19 to 31 August 2019 in Rabat, Morocco. Only Africa Billiards and Snooker Confederation affiliates will be allowed to participate in the snooker event.