But in a letter on Friday, the female team which recently qualified for the FIBA Women’s World Cup competition, faulted the move, insisting it would erase all they have worked for.
“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 team said in a Twitter tread
“We would like to be given the opportunity to play for our country that we passionately love to represent in this upcoming @FIBAWWC competition.”
‘Inspiration To Nigerian Athletes’
The African champions argued that the team “worked very hard to be 3x Afrobasket Champions, Olympians and now we are blessed with another opportunity to continue that representation for Nigeria.
“We want Nigerian Basketball to continue to grow and succeed on every level; from the local leagues, grassroots, and even on the international stage!
“We believe that all levels of Nigerian basketball can excel with the proper attention, togetherness, and organization. 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.”
While thanking their coaches, medical staff, organisers, and fans for their support, the D’Tigress said the ban also affects this set of persons.
“Your commitment and loyalty to our team will never go unnoticed,” the statement added.
“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.”
Before the two-year ban, the Nigerian girls were scheduled to play at the FIBA Women’s World Cup later this year in Australia.
They were grouped alongside Australia, France, Japan, Serbia, and Canada for the competition which runs from September 22 to October 1.