Nigeria’s women’s Basketball team, D’Tigress has opposed the two-year embargo placed on international competitions and has appealed to the Federal Government to have a rethink.
D’Tigress in February qualified for the 2022 FIBA World Cup and the team in a press statement attributed to the team is beckoning on the decision to be reversed to enable them to participate at the World Cup in Australia and ensure future tournaments are not thrown into jeopardy.
“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,” D’Tigress stated in the press statement posted on their Twitter handle.
“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!”
The players stated in unison that they would not like to be denied the chance to represent their fatherland and as such won’t like all they had laboured for including winning the FIBA Afrobasket for three consecutive times and playing in the Olympics among other accomplishments be trashed.
“We would like to be given the opportunity to play for our country that we passionately love to represent in this upcoming FIBA Women’s World Cup
“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.”
D’Tigress nonetheless is suing for peace in the administration of the sport in Nigeria and also called on those taking charge of the sport in the country to give chance for peace and ensure there are workable plans for the success of basketball at all levels from the grassroots.
“Our goal is to play and represent Nigeria proudly! We, as the Nigerian Women’s National Team plea for the reversal of the International Basketball ban for Nigeria. We hope to be heard! Thank you.”
Meanwhile, the six zonal representatives on the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) board have come out in unison to condemn the decision which they described as retrogressive in view of the new moves by the NBBF board to consolidate on its recent achievements.
According to Abba Kaka Abdulkadir, the North East Zonal representative on the NBBF, “we received the news of the ban with shock and dismay because it’s like taking the game in Nigeria backwards. Some of the reasons given by the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare was that the ministry want to develop grassroots basketball.
“We’re going to the courts to stop the Ministry and the government from implementing this unpopular decision. We won’t allow them to kill basketball, which is the only team sport that brought two trophies to this Buhari government in the last four years,” he added.
Ugo Udezue, who is the South-East Zonal Representative on the NBBF board, on his part expressed his disappointment with the decision of the government, stating that it’s akin to taking two steps forward and ten steps backwards.