FG lifts ban on basketball teams

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The Federal Government has lifted the ban earlier placed on Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) from participating in all international basketball competitions and activities for a period of two years.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Ismaila Abubakar, made this known at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday.

He said the latest decision followed a letter of appeal from the NBBF, signed by Mister Musa Kida, and consultations with other stakeholders.

Abubakar, in statement issued after the press briefing, said: “President Muhammadu Buhari, being one that is committed to youth development and desirous of ensuring that they are availed of all opportunities in sports and other endeavors considered the appeal and in the overriding spirit of national interest, love for our youth, and in order to avoid sending basketball development into a long period of suspension when NBBF have now committed to the resolution of the issues which precipitated the withdrawal in the first place has approved the return of Nigeria to international basketball immediately.

“In securing this approval, of note is the caution that the laws of Nigeria cannot be subjugated to any other law, and every Nigerian entity must respect Nigerian laws and authority governing various sectors.

“Failure to do this, as with any constitutionally bound sovereign nation will attract sanctions,” he stated.

It would be recalled that the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, on May 12, 2022, announced that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the withdrawal of Nigeria from all international basketball competitions for a period of two years with immediate effect.

Dare said the ban was in order to concentrate efforts by the government towards revamping the sport from the grassroots as well as domestic leagues which have become moribund.
The minister added a committee would be set up to oversee basketball leagues in the country.

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) later announced that the Nigerian female basketball team, D’Tigress, will not participate in the 2022 Women’s Basketball World Cup.

FIBA noted that the development followed the withdrawal of NBBF from all international competitions, adding that the D’Tigress would be replaced by Mali at the 2022 Women’s Basketball World Cup scheduled for Sydney, Australia, in September 2022.

Nigeria had defeated France and Mali in the final to qualify for the tournament.

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