The Federal Government of Nigeria has reversed its earlier decision barring the country’s basketball teams from participation in international competitions for two years.
The reversal comes barely six weeks into the self-imposed two-year ban.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered a letter of appeal dated June 17, 2022, from the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) board signed by Musa Kida and addressed to the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare as well as appeals from different quarters triggered the u-turn.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Ismaila Abubakar, said intervention by concerned people within and outside the country, former Nigerian international basketball players and well-meaning individuals to seek solutions to the issues led to the decision to rescind the earlier placed ban.
On May 12, 2022, the Ministry of Youth and Sports announced that President Muhammadu Buhari approved a two-year ban from international basketball activities following the unending crisis plaguing the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF.
That decision was critici8zed in several quarters but the Minister stood his ground that it was the best thing to do to save basketball from dying; especially on the home front where there had been little or no activities.
The hard stance led to the removal of the Nigeria women basketball team, D’Tigress from the roster of teams for the World Cup and were replaced by Mali.
There were fears D’Tigers – the male team – would also suffer a similar fate with the men’s second phase World Cup qualifiers also approaching.
However, with the reversal of the ban, the men willl be able to continue in their World Cup qualification quest.
Before this reversal, the Minister of Sports had sworn in an interim management committee to oversee the running of basketball.
However, there are strong indications the Musa Kida-led board will take up the role following their recognition by the international body, FIBA.
Mark Igoche had been neck deep in the leadership tussle for the NBBF, having emerged as the winner in the parallel polls held in Abuja the same day Kida was voted in at the Elective Congress held in Benin City.
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