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Nigerian Basketball Players Slam Sports Minister over Ban from International Competitions

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Nigerian basketball players have expressed their disappointment over the exclusion of Nigerian national teams from international competitions.

The federal government had in May suspended Nigeria’s basketball teams from international competitions for two years.

This came as a result of the ongoing leadership tussle in the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).

Read Also: Collaboration good for Nigerian basketball – NBBF President

The decision meant Nigeria’s senior women’s basketball team were replaced by their Malian counterpart for the upcoming 2022 Women’s Basketball World Cup in Australia.

FIBA made the pronouncement on Thursday.

Reacting, D’Tigress point-guard Ezinne Kalu said she would never represent Nigeria again.

“I don’t think I will ever wear the green and white again,” Kalu wrote on her Twitter.

Kalu, alongside others, secured Nigeria’s place at the World Cup after beating Mali at the qualification stage in Serbia.

Other players have also voiced their frustrations on Twitter, blaming Sunday Dare, the Youth and Sports Development Minister, and the NBBF for the ouster from the global showpiece.

Stan Okoye, who plays for D’Tigers, D’Tigress’ male counterparts, reacted thus: “Wow, what a shame! Greed, selfishness, corruption, all the above. My heart is broken for these ladies.

“Well done NBBF, Muhammadu Buhari, Sunday Dare, truly an embarrassment.”

Another D’Tigers player, Chimezie Metu, also described the situation as embarrassing.

“Extremely alarming. Decades of work have been thrown down the drain.

“Multiple-time African champions and multiple Olympic/World Cup bids and we don’t get to even participate in the next competition, not because of an athletic inability but because grown men are too busy fighting over money.


“At the end of the day, this is only a metaphor for what our people are going through in Nigeria. Innocent people suffering because our so-called “leaders” are too busy being greedy,” Metu added.

FIBA also said it would make known its decisions relating to NBBF’s participation in other international competitions and any potential disciplinary measures in due course.

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