Basketballghana.com can confirm Nigeria has been cleared to compete in international basketball competitions weeks after the African powerhouse announced a two year ban from competing internationally in order to solve leadership issues that have bedeviled the country’s basketball fraternity.
The ban was approved by Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari in a letter that caused uproar from stakeholders; Mali was picked as Africa’s representative at the upcoming Women’s World Cup in Australia to replace Nigeria. An Interim Management Committee was setup to deal with crisis.
However, earlier today, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Ismaila Abubakar announced the decision to rescind the ban with the approval of President Buhari and return to international basketball.
Nigeria’s Men’s National Team (D’Tigers) is in the process of making last ditch changes to compete in the upcoming round of World Cup qualification games. D’Tigress is waiting on FIBA’s decision to restore its place as Africa’s representative at Women’s World Cup after handing the spot to Mali; the West African nation finished in second place behind Nigeria at the 2021.
Below is a full statement released earlier today by Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Ismaila Abubakar:
“The Appeal letter also critically gave some key undertakings: to immediately set in motion the process of status review or constitutional amendments from stakeholders as collated by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, to set up a high-powered team to reconcile all contending parties in the basketball family at home and abroad, and a commitment to work with the Ministry in the governance and development of basketball among other things.
Flowing from the above and upon a review, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development approached and placed these developments before 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 basket 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.
Failure to do this, as with any constitutionally bound sovereign nation, will attract sanctions. There was first a country before any organization or federation that bears the Nigerian name, colours and flag us representing Nigeria.
“Secondly, that all those that lead government organizations and in this case our federations, hold such positions in trust for the Government and people of Nigeria under the direct supervision of the Minister of Youth and Sports”
By Yaw Adjei-Mintah
@YawMintYM on Twitter