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NBBF lauds Buhari after govt lifts two-year int’l ban on basketball

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has lifted the two-year international ban it placed on national teams over the unending crisis in the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).

The government on Thursday announced the reinstatement of Nigeria into international competitions following a letter of appeal dated June 17, 2022, from the NBBF board signed by Musa Kida and addressed to the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare.

Addressing the media in Abuja on Thursday, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, said intervention by concerned stakeholders, former Nigerian international basketball players and well-meaning Nigerians to seek solutions to the issues triggered the decision.

Ripples Nigeria had reported on May 13 that President Muhammadu Buhari approved with immediate effect, the withdrawal of the teams from international competitions.

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.

Read Also: FG appoints committee to oversee basketball, insists on two-year int’l ban

Speaking after the ban had been finally lifted, Kida, president of the NBBF board said, “After the back and forth, I am quite glad to see that this decision is reached, and it is a major victory for basketball. This is what I truly will say, no victor and no vanquished.

“It gladdens our heart that the Federal Government has decided to return basketball to where it rightfully belongs.

“We recognize that some of the actions of the stakeholders and their effects are regrettable. Vital lessons have been learnt and stakeholders are now committed to close ranks in the overall interest of the game.

“There can be no viable grassroots development without international exposure. No country can be an island while every kid who takes up sports wants to play on the global stage and represent its fatherland, with the resultant huge economic benefit to the child that attains global recognition in the game”, Kida said.

It is yet to be known whether or not the Nigeria women’s basketball team would go on to represent the country at the FIBA World Cup which is billed to hold between September and October in Australia.

FIBA had kicked out D’Tigress from the competition following the ban by the government, and invited Mali to replace the African champions at the tournament.

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