Nigeria Men’s national basketball team will on Tuesday night leave for China for the final phase of their 2019 FIBA World Cup preparation.
The team has been stranded back home in Nigeria due to lack of fund.
According to a statement by the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), the team can no longer wait for Federal Government’s promise to intervene, as the tournament is only days away.
The President of NBBF, Engr Musa Kida revealed to media men that the team will travel to China on money generated from loans as the federation hopes to repay when they get the expected funds from the government.
“The journey has not been easy due to delay in the release of funds by the Federal Government,” Kida said.
“The federation has bent backwards once again to ensure that we do what we need to do to save Nigeria from global embarrassment by missing the World Cup.”
Kida added that the federation cannot afford to allow Nigeria, who became the first country in the world to qualify for the world cup, to miss out or go to China as mere participants.
“The journey has not been easy due to delay in the release of funds by the Federal Government. The federation has bent backwards once again to ensure that we do what we need to do to save Nigeria from global embarrassment by missing the World Cup.
“We are trying to internally generate funds from sponsorships, but before then, the government must support us. The national teams are national property which must be catered for by the government”
The coach Alex Nwora tutored side which has been in camp since July 7th will participate in the Peak Invitational International tournament between the 22nd and 27th of August.
Nigeria will play against fellow World Cup bound Iran, Montenegro before playing Poland in Yangzhou as part of their preparations.
The World Cup which has seen Nigeria grouped alongside Russia, Argentina and Korea starts on Saturday, 31st of August.