Over 30 teams are expected to participate in the 2017 National Open Handball Championships in Makurdi, Benue State, from March 19 to 29.

The competition is the first national tournament since the Confederation of African Handball lifted its ban on Nigeria in January after the association paid its pending fees.

Yusuf Dauda, President of the Handball Federation of Nigeria, said, “More than 30 teams, comprising states and clubs, have registered to compete in the championships. According to the secretariat, we have both male and female teams registered and more teams have also indicated their interest in the competition.

“This competition is the first after the ban was lifted and we want to make the best use of it to get the right players needed for the national team. The coming months will be very busy for handball as we will seek for sponsors and do something also for the junior teams as well.”

The competition has no prize money and teams taking part are expected to cater for their feeding and accommodation, which has made some states to boycott the competition.