Despite its late withdrawal from the 2015 edition of the Davis Cup tournament, the International Tennis Federation soft-pedalled on possible sanction for Nigeria after drawing the West African giant with highly-rated Madagascar, Morocco and 13 others in the Africa Zone Group III of the championship.
It was few days to the kick-off of the 2015 edition of the tournament in Cairo, Egypt that Nigeria made its withdrawal known to the world tennis ruling body.
There were speculations that the West African side would be penalised.
But with the conduct of the draw, it is clear that Nigeria may not be sanctioned after all.
However, Nigeria’s quest for promotion to Group II will continue again in 2016 as they are expected to battle Group II relegated sides, Madagascar and Morocco, and 13 others for places in the elite division.
According to ITTF, the 2016 edition of the Group III of the Africa Zone will hold on the clay courts of the Antanarivo University in Madagascar from July 13 to 16, with 16 teams aiming for the two promotion slots available.
Besides the top rated teams like host Madagascar and Morocco, other nations expected at the four-day tournament are Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Congo DRC, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Mozambique, Namibia and Rwanda.
The 16 countries are expected to be drawn into four groups, while the matches will be played in round robin format with the winners of each group engaging in play-off against each other to determine the two nations that will be promoted to Europe/Africa Zone Group II in 2017.
Nigeria’s maiden appearance in the Davis Cup was in 1974, while the best putting for Nigeria was in 1988 and 1989 when it reached the semifinals stage in Group I.