MEMBERS of Nigeria’s women basketball team, D’Tigress, have announced their intention to participate in the FIBA World Cup despite the two-year international ban placed on the sport by the Nigerian government.
The three-time Afrobasket Champions on Friday expressed their desire to participate in the forthcoming basketball World Cup.
A statement posted on Twitter said the team had worked so hard to get to its current level and would love to participate in the World Cup, despite the international ban imposed on basketball by the Federal Government.
The Federal government had, on May 12, through the Ministry of Youths and Sports, announced Nigeria’s withdrawal from international basketball activities.
Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare said the withdrawal would enable the government restore peace in the basketball federation, revamp the sport from the grassroots and alwo revive the domestic leagues which have become moribund.
The ministry banned all national basketball teams, including D’Tigers and D’Tigress, from participating in international competitions for two years.
Reacting to the development, the women’s national basketball team, in a statement posted on Twitter on Friday, opposed the decision taken by the government.
The D’Tigress insisted on representing Nigeria at the 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup, which will take place in Australia from September 22 to October 1.
Parts of the statement read: “We, as the Women’s National Team of Nigeria would like to speak on the government’s recently placed two-year ban on all Nigerian Basketball International competitions.
“The D’Tigress team would like to state that we do not agree with this ban. This ban is taking away all our future competitions, accomplishments and goals to elevate, inspire, and make Nigeria proud!
“We would like to be given the opportunity to play for our country that we passionately love to represent in this upcoming FIBA WWC competition.
“We have worked very hard to be 3x Afrobasket Champions, Olympians and now we are blessed with another opportunity to continue that representation for Nigeria.”
The statement also stressed that it is the team’s desire to continue to grow Nigerian basketball.
“We believe that all levels of Nigerian basketball can excel with the proper attention, togetherness, and organisation.
“Our team is a testament to how successful Nigerian Basketball can be and how we have been an inspiration to all Nigerian athletes across the globe.”
The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has been rocked by a series of allegations over the past few months.
The ICIR had also exposed the corruption that trailed the Nigeria Basketball Federation in an investigation published on Nov 27, 2021.
The investigation detailed how a former president of the federation, Tijjani Umar, allegedly pocketed a sponsorship deal worth $2.2 million in 2017.
Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: email@example.com. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M