Basketball: D’Tigers scramble for spot in World Cup qualifiers as FG reverses ban

The Federal Government has rescinded its decision to suspend Nigeria’s basketball teams from all international competitions for two years.

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Youth and Sports Development Ismaila Abubakar disclosed this at a news briefing in Abuja on Thursday.

Abubakar said the decision was based on a letter of appeal received from the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).


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The NBBF, in the letter, promised to resolve the issues which precipitated the government’s decision to withdraw the country’s basketball teams from international competitions, including the World Cup.

“The appeal letter also critically gave some key undertakings – to immediately set in motion the process of status review or constitutional amendments from stakeholders as collated by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

“To set up a high-powered team to reconcile all contending parties in the basketball family at home and abroad, and a commitment to work with the Ministry in the governance and development of basketball among other things,” Abubakar said.

Reacting to the news, the Nigerian Men’s National Basketball Team (D’Tigers) said it is “scrambling” to see if it can participate in the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers holding next week in Rwanda, while also expressing hope that the female team (D’Tigress) would be reinstated in the World Cup.

“It took our voices and community to make this change…Its should never have reached this point,” D’Tigers said in a tweet.



    It would be recalled that FIBA had replaced Nigerian Female Basketball team D’Tigress with Mali’s national team, following a ban announced by the Federal Government on the sport for a period of two years.

    “Given the multiple strict deadlines that cannot be postponed in order to ensure the successful staging of a major international event, Nigeria’s withdrawal from the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 is confirmed.

    “Mali, as the next ranked team from Group B of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, is invited to participate in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022,” FIBA announced earlier this month.

    The NBBF crisis began in 2017 after two parallel elective congresses held in Kano and Abuja produced fractional boards headed by Tijani Umar and Musa Kida.

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