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Nigerian umpires for $2.3bn Rio Olympic Games



The 2016 Rio Olympic Games are fast approaching with less than eight months to go when a dazzling opening ceremony which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5th to 21st August 2016.

Brazil recently confirmed that the cost of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro is about $2.3 billion, although these costs are expected to rise.

The initial figure is much lower than the previous two Olympic games, with the 2012 London Games estimated at $.4.4 billion with the final budget being $10.4 billion. Officials said the costs of the Olympics in Rio, and the accompanying Paralympics, had jumped 27 percent from prior estimates due to factors such as inflation and costs for new technology.

A total of 7.5 million tickets will be sold; 200,000 tickets less compared to the 2012 Summer Olympics, because the size of many arenas is smaller. Ticket prices range from $10 for many events to $1,160 for the most expensive seats at the opening ceremony. About 3.8 million of these tickets will be available for $20 or less.

The Rio 2016 Games will host 65 Olympic and Paralympic sports, with the participation of 16,000 athletes and delegations from 204 countries, 4,500 technical officials, 70,000 volunteers and over 25,000 media professionals, whose logistical needs in terms of accommodation, food and transport is the responsibility of Rio 2016.

Compared to past editions where Nigerian athletes compete at the Olympics, this year edition is unique as Nigeria will not only have its players in action at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, but two of its foremost umpires, John Peters and Cecilia Arinye have been confirmed by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) as match officials for the multi-sports event in Brazil.  Nigeria’s John Peters and Cecilia Arinye will join 47 other umpires listed by the world table tennis ruling body for the tournament.

Aside Nigeria, Algeria and Egypt are the only countries in the continent that will have umpires at the games, as listed by ITTF.

With Aruna Quadri and Funke Oshonaike already confirmed for the Rio Olympic Games, the certified ITTF blue badge umpires, Peters and Arinye will be among the 47 umpires listed by the world table tennis ruling body for the tournament.

Globally, few umpires make it to the Olympic Games but again this has confirmed Nigeria’s relevance in table tennis with Nigeria, Egypt and Algeria being the only countries in Africa having its officials at the games.

The duo has joined the list of few umpires in the world to make it to the Olympic while the late Patience Ikeme-Iwuno was among the four umpires selected from Africa for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

According to the President, African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Khaled El-Salhy, the listing of umpires from Nigeria, Egypt and Algeria again confirmed the giant stride made by the these countries in terms of officiating.

The 2016 summer Olympics is major international multi-sport events that will see more than 10,500 athletes take part in this sporting event. The games will feature 28 sports — including rugby sevens and golf, which were added by the International Olympic Committee in 2009. These sporting events will take place across 33 venues spread across four regions of the city namely – Barra, Copacabana, Deodoro, and Maracana.

Rio will become the first South American city to host the Summer Olympics, the second city in Latin America to host the event after Mexico City in 1968, and the first since 2000 in the Southern Hemisphere.


 Anthony Nlebem