Friends of Nigeria Sports (FNS) has expressed its anger and disappointment over the decision of FIBA to ban Nigeria’s representative, Rivers Hoopers from participating in the Basketball Africa League, slated to dunk off in March, this year, across major cities in Africa.
FIBA in a letter signed by the Secretary and Regional Director, Biles Alphonse and addressed to Engr. Musa Kida in his capacity as NBBF president, dated 14th January 2022, the Basketball body said it has decided not to retain the Nigeria Rivers Hoppers Club to participate in the final phase of BAL. This he said is due to the inability of NBBF to confirm to it that it is organizing its own program. They said that FIBA Africa cannot authorize the participation of a Nigerian club in the Basketball Africa League this year.
Reacting to this ban, the spokesperson for FNS, Asiwaju Akeem Busari, described it as unfortunate and demoralising.
” It is unfortunate and highly regrettable that FIBA has slammed its hammer on Nigeria, due to the stubbornness of the sports ministry to disrespect the directives of FIBA.
” Remember, we (FNS), severally warned against the actions and inactions of the sports ministry, which has been premised on the selfish agendas of some officials of the ministry.
Asiwaju Akeem Busari accused the sports ministry officials of blatantly disregarding words of advice from stakeholders in the basketball community not to take over the organization of the final 8 of the male basketball league from the NBBF board which had been in charge of the the game.
Meanwhile Rivers Hoopers will be meeting this week to consider what step to taken in order to participate in the competition.
The ban has dealth a devastating blow to the players and officials who were expected to resume training for the biggest continental club competition.
Continuing, he said, “Nigerians are praying and hoping the sports Ministry will allow the federation to conduct its election as agreed by NBBF congress.
“There are indications that the male and female national teams D’ Tigers and D’Tigress could be banned by FIBA if the elections did not hold on or before January 30, 2022.
” Therefore, we are hoping that the Sports ministry listen to the voice of the people by allowing the NBBF hold its election.