In the aftermath of the country’s withdrawal from all international basketball tournaments for the next two years and the consequent sanction slammed on the nation’s contingent to the FIBA World Cup, the Federal Government will inaugurate an Interim Management Committee (IMC) on Saturday, June 4.
The IMC is to manage the affairs of the federation for the period of the withdrawal. Consequently, arrangements have been concluded to inaugurate the IMC on Saturday, June 4, 2022 at the Indoor Sports Hall, Package ‘B’ Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
The event is to be preceded by an exhibition match between two schools from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Minister of Sports, Mr Sunday Dare said President Muhammadu Buhari hd approved the withdrawal of Nigeria from all international competitions relating to basketball as a result of lingering crisis in the NBBF for almost two decades.
However, in response to Nigeria’s decision, the sport’s world governing body, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) on Thursday, confirmed that Nigeria will not participate in the 2022 Women’s World Cup billed for Sydney, Australia, later in the year.
FIBA announced the decision in a statement on Thursday morning.
FIBA then moved to remove Nigeria from its World Cup tournament, for which the country’s female national team, D-Tigress had already qualified to compete in.
FIBA subsequently replaced Nigeria with Mali which finished runners-up in the qualifying tournament.
It would be recalled that D’Tigress had back in February, this year, qualified for the 2022 FIBA Women World Cup to be hosted later in the year after a 67-65 point win over world number five, France.
In the statement, Thursday, FIBA said the NBBF ‘is unable to confirm its participation in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022.’
It added that D’Tigress would be replaced by Mali at the competition.
FIBA added that it “will announce whether there will be any other decisions related to the NBBF’s participation in other FIBA competitions and any potential disciplinary measures in due course.”
“FIBA was informed about the decision of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to withdraw the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) from all international basketball competitions and activities for a period of two years.
“In subsequent communications with the NBBF, and despite FIBA’s request, it has become clear that against the circumstances created by the government’s decision, the NBBF is unable to confirm its participation in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022.
“Given the multiple strict deadlines that cannot be postponed in order to ensure the successful staging of a major international event (visa procedures, schedules, ticket sales, accommodations, friendly games, preliminary rosters, flight tickets, accreditations, etc.) and to protect the integrity of the competition, the FIBA Executive Committee has decided as follows.
“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 will announce whether there will be any other decisions related to the NBBF’s participation in other FIBA competitions and any potential disciplinary measures in due course.”
On inauguration, the planned interim committee is expected to commence a youth basketball league and domestic league to help in nurturing home based players so that we will have a reservoir of players that will represent the country in international events after the period of withdrawal.
This will set the ball rolling, by creating opportunities for our local players to have regular competitions at home thereby elevating their status to getting scholarship to universities all over the world, and clubs to play and better their living standards which will also have positive effects on the economy of Nigeria.
The Interim Management Committee (IMC) members to be inaugurated by government on Saturday, are as follows: Dr. Henry Nzekwu as Chairman, Udon Ubon Humapwa – Member, Frank Jituboh – Member, Zenith Bank Representative – Member, Prof. Adamu Ahmed – Member, Peter Nelson – Member, Grp. Captain Rahinatu Garba – Member, Aderemi Adewunmi – Member, Oluchi Nzekwe – Member, and Seni Adio (SAN) – Member.