The Nigerian government has banned all national basketball teams, including D’Tigers and D’Tigress, from participating in international competitions for two years.
According to the government, this is a way to end the unending crisis in the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), and also help build a better atmosphere for the sport to flourish in the country.
In a circular by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, as seen by Ripples Nigeria, it was stated that President Muhammadu Buhari was aware and had approved with immediate effect, the withdrawal.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ismaila Abubakar, also stated this on behalf of the Minister, Mr. Sunday Dare at his office on Thursday in Abuja.
The decision by the federal government became paramount after two parallel national federation board elections were held in 2017 (in Kano and Abuja) and 2022 (in Benin and Abuja), leading to the emergence of two governing bodies.
Although the world basketball governing body, FIBA had since officially recognized the Musa Kida-led board, the Nigerian government has chosen to toll this path.
The decision means that Nigeria women‘s team D’Tigress, who had already qualified for this year’s World Cup in Australia wlmeant to run from September through October, will be missing in action.
While the 19th edition of the men’s FIBA Basketball World Cup to be co-hosted by Indonesia, Japan and Philippines in 2023, could see the D’Tigers also absent.
“Following the unending crisis which have plagued and nearly crippled the development of basketball in Nigeria, President Buhari has approved the withdrawal of Nigeria from all international basketball competitions for a period of two years. This is with immediate effect,” the circular read.
“This will also allow for the setting up of an Interim Management Committee (IMC) to oversee the management and development of the domestic basketball leagues in Nigeria.
“In issuing the order, the Federal Government reiterates its interest and commitment to the development of the sport of basketball in Nigeria as well as huge talents of our youth domestically in an atmosphere free of rancour and squabbles.
“Government therefore calls on players, officials, fans and other stakeholders of the sport to remain calm as it embarks on far-reaching initiatives to reposition, sustain and stabilise the game of basketball.
“This will aid in the growth and success of the sport in the long-term interest of the country.”
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