Nigeria is at the risk of becoming the first country ever to qualify for the FIBA World Cup and fail to show up for the competition.
According to the General Manager of D’Tigers, Musa Adamu, the Nigerian men’s basketball team are in a race against time to get the needed fund that would ensure their participation in the FIBA 2019 World Cup in China.
Mr Adamu at the weekend told journalists that the earlier scheduled trip to China in continuation of their preparation for the FIBA World Cup may have suffered a setback over the paucity of funds as the Nigeria Basketball Federation continues struggling to make funds available.
“I cannot tell you exactly when the team is leaving for China, the basketball federation has been doing a lot for this team. We started this elimination over a year ago and now going to two years and the federation has been funding the trips for each window.
“Each window, we had to bring players, fly them down, accommodate them and also pay insurance and all these things have been done singlehandedly by the federation with a promise from the ministry to support us, but we are still expecting and hoping that they will do so before we leave for China,” Adamu continued.
The former Nigerian international revealed that despite plans to adequately prepare the team for the apex global sports fiesta, the unavailability of funds might just be the clog in the wheel of the team’s preparation.
“The team is here in Nigeria, so we hope that they will act because we don’t know when we will leave. There are no funds available for now. The federation is looking up to the ministry with the hope that the funds will be released for us to leave”
He took time out to appreciate the Musa Kida led NBBF board for their selfless sacrifice throughout the qualifiers as he appealed to the President, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and save the country from global embarrassment.
“I wish to appreciate the federation, the President, Engr Musa Kida, and the board. They have been doing so much for this team and basketball and I think it’s time for the government to step in and assist us.”
Mr Adamu revealed that the current players in camp are talented, motivated and ready to represent Nigeria well, but funding has been a major issue.
“I will like to use the forum to call on the President, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari to turn his eyes a little bit to the D’Tigers because they are also a national team. We are expecting support from him to release funds for our team to be able to participate in this World Cup.”
With the World Cup starting on August 29, only the timely release of funds by the federal government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports will save Nigeria from the looming embarrassing position.
“We have come a long way. We have a very good, ambitious and motivated team. We really hope that the President will try to help his children, his people, and his own team to be able to participate in this World Cup through the sports ministry obviously”.
To further underscore their potentials at the World Cup, D’Tigers are ranked 8th among the 32 participating countries at this global showpiece.