The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has threatened to further sanction Nigeria following the country’s withdrawal from international basketball competitions.
Meanwhile, Nigeria has already been banned from the World Cup in Sydney, Australia and replaced the country’s female basketball team, D’Tigress with Mali.
The withdrawal, which took effect three weeks ago, was announced by the Minister for Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare.
According to the government, the decision was taken to restore the sport and resolve the crisis affecting it in the country. However, the move has been criticised by the members of the public and basketball players, who have lamented the effect the withdrawal would have on their careers.
A letter addressed to factional Nigeria Basketball Federation president Musa Ahmadu-Kida, signed by Jaime Lamboy, Head of Legal, FIBA and dated May 18, 2022, said Nigeria had breached Article 9.7 of FIBA’s General Statutes.
The article states that “National member federations shall manage their affairs independently and with no influence from third parties.”
Meanwhile, Article 10.2 of the FIBA Statutes gives the Secretary-General of FIBA Central Board the power to suspend a national member federation for breaching Article 9.7.
FIBA wrote on its website, “FIBA was informed about the decision of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to withdraw the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) from all international basketball competitions and activities for a period of two years.
“In subsequent communications with the NBBF, and despite FIBA’s request, it has become clear that against the circumstances created by the government’s decision, the NBBF is unable to confirm its participation in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022.
“Given the multiple strict deadlines that cannot be postponed in order to ensure the successful staging of a major international event (visa procedures, schedules, ticket sales, accommodations, friendly games, preliminary rosters, flight tickets, accreditations, etc.) and to protect the integrity of the competition, the FIBA Executive Committee has decided as follows: Nigeria’s withdrawal from the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 is confirmed.”
“Mali, as the next ranked team from Group B of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, is invited to participate in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022,” FIBA also said.
FIBA said it would announce if there would be further sanctions against Nigeria.
“FIBA will announce whether there will be any other decisions related to the NBBF’s participation in other FIBA competitions and any potential disciplinary measures in due course,” the statement added.
D’Tigress had qualified for the next edition of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup which will take place from September 22 to October 1st, 2022 in Sydney, Australia.