Nigeria face FIBA ​​sanctions for withdrawals

Nigeria faces sanctions from world basketball governing body FIBA ​​after the government on Thursday ordered the immediate withdrawal of its national teams from all international competitions for two years with immediate effect.

Sports Minister Sunday Dare made the announcement on Thursday through the permanent secretary of the ministry, Ismaila Abubakar, who revealed that the decision was made in order to find a lasting solution to the continuing crisis in the Nigerian Sports Federation. basketball.

The NBBF held parallel polls in Abuja and Benin City in January with the former inaugurating Mark Igoche while the latter brought in incumbent Musa Ahmadu Kida.

The directive put the D’Tigress women’s national team in jeopardy who are hoping to attend the 2022 World Cup in Sydney, Australia, while the D’Tigers who are set to take part in the third window of the men’s World Cup qualifiers FIBA 2023 from July 1 in Rwanda may be the first affected by the sanction.

Dare revealed that the Chairman, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Retired) had approved Nigeria’s immediate withdrawal from all international basketball competitions for a period of two years with immediate effect.

“Following the unending crisis that has plagued and nearly crippled the development of basketball in Nigeria, President Buhari has approved the withdrawal of Nigeria from all international basketball competitions for a period of two years. This is with immediate effect,” the ministry statement read in part.

“It will also enable the establishment of an interim management committee to oversee the management and development of the national basketball leagues in Nigeria.

“By issuing the order, the Federal Government reiterates its interest and commitment to the development of basketball in Nigeria as well as the immense talents of our youth nationwide in an atmosphere free from rancor and contention.”

The immediate withdrawal of national teams from the country is in violation of Article 9.7 of FIBA’s General Statutes which states that “National Member Federations shall manage their affairs independently and without any influence from third parties”.

Art 10.2 of the FIBA ​​Statutes adds that at the initiative of the Secretary General, the FIBA ​​Central Board may suspend a Member National Federation for violation of Art 9.7.

Reacting to the withdrawal from international competitions, Vice Chairman of the Ahmadu-Kida-led board of directors, Babs Ogunade, said the decision to suspend local and international basketball activities has set the sport back in the country from more than 10 years.

“For me, I think the decision is wrong and you have to ask the minister questions. We are qualified for the World Cup. Does he know the fines linked to the absence of participation in the World Cup after the qualifications?

“The men have the 2023 World Cup qualifiers in Kigali in July and this ban will affect them as well. How will the ban improve basketball in Nigeria?

“This decision set back basketball in the country by 10 years. Do they know how long it took us to convince NBA players to come and play for Nigeria? How long did it take us to convince Mike Brown to come and coach us? This ban is definitely bad for our sports.

FIBA has in the past suspended countries for third-party interference.

Kuwait was suspended in 2015 for political interference, while Mexico was also banned for the same offense the same year. Lebanon was suspended in 2013 for government interference.

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