D’Tigers, the Nigerian male basketball national team, has condemned the ban placed on the sport by the Federal Government.
This follows the withdrawal of the Nigerian female basketball team, D’Tigress, from the upcoming 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup.
FIBA announced on Thursday that the D’Tigress have been kicked out of the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup after the Federal Government withdrew all teams from international competitions.
D’Tigress had qualified for the World Cup billed for Sydney, Australia, starting in September 2022, after defeating France and Mali in the Group B of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade.
Reacting to the news on Twitter, D’Tigers official account condemned the Federal Government for disallowing the 2021 Afrobasket Women’s Champions to prove themselves on the global stage.
“We are saddened by the forced withdrawal of @DtigressNG from the World Cup,” the tweet read. “We hope someday Nigeria will be led by a government without corruption and greed. The future of Nigeria basketball is extremely bright and we are being held back by our leaders.”
The team also noted that the success of Nigeria as “the best basketball country in Africa” can be credited to “players and staff who put their blood, sweat, and tears into their work,” and not the Nigerian Government that placed the ban.
“Nigeria’s biggest threat from progress is Nigeria. We need change,” they wrote.
The Sports minister, Sunday Dare, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development’s Permanent Secretary, Ismaila Abubakar, announced in May, that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had given approval, with immediate effect, to withdraw Nigeria from all international basketball competitions for a period of two years, following the lingering leadership rift in the Nigeria Basketball Federation.
The minister added that the withdrawal was part of the government’s efforts to revamp the sport from the grassroots, as well as put an end to the crises that had rocked the NBBF.
Meanwhile, reactions have trailed the decision of the Federation of International Basketball Associations to replace D’Tigress at the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup with Mali after the Federal Government withdrew all teams from international competitions.
Tweeps directed their anger at the Minister Of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, who they blamed for the decision of the Federal Government.
Popular tweep, Nefertiti said, “Sunday Dare is reckless, but GMB had no business pulling the Girls out of ALL Int’l Basketball competitions for a whooping 2 yrs.💔 There are many ways the FG could have resolved the power tussle inside the Basketball Federation. Like Buhari, Abacha made Nigeria miss two World Cups.”
Mr Folarin tweeted, “This, right here, (D’Tigress withdrawal from world cup) is Sunday Dare’s legacy as sports minister. Not that he cares though, but it has to be pressed home so that posterity judges him accordingly.”
Tosin Banwo OBE said, “Totally on the sports minister-Sunday Dare, no world cup participation in two sports, what is even more worrisome in this case is that this team qualified.”
Chukwuemeka hinged the debacle on bad governance, saying, “Sunday Dare and FG have killed the dream of these young Nigerians to represent us at the World Cup. Bad governance na your mate?”