Thursday, April 18, 2024

Nigeria’s Sports Ministry Approves D’Tigers 2025 Afrobasket Qualifiers Participation

In a dramatic U-turn which will put smile on the faces of basketball followers in Nigeria, the Nigeria senior male national basketball team, D’Tigers, is set to compete in the 2025 Afrobasket qualifiers, commencing this Friday in Monastir, Tunisia, following the green light from the sports ministry.

Nigeria was set to miss the 2025 Afrobasket qualifiers due to lack of funds.

This was announced on the D’Tigers social media handle and generated criticism, with Nigerians saying it will be an ’embarassment’ if the team misses the qualifiers.

In swift response, Senator John Owan Enoh, the Honourable Minister for Sports Development, has given his consent for the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF) leadership to ensure D’Tigers’ involvement in the qualifiers.

Assuring that necessary funds will be approved and released within the next three weeks, the Minister pledged support for covering flight tickets, allowances, and other logistical needs for the qualifiers.

Consequently, D’Tigers are now en route to Tunisia and are expected to arrive just in time for their matches.

Expressing gratitude to the Sports Ministry and the Honourable Minister for their support, NBBF President Engr Ahmadu Musa Kida thanked the Ministry’s efforts in ensuring the team’s participation, albeit on short notice.

Kida acknowledged that despite the delayed decision, it was crucial to avoid potential embarrassment both locally and internationally.

The swift action by the Ministry has alleviated concerns from FIBA and skeptics, who may not fully grasp the financial challenges facing the NBBF, including outstanding outsourcing liabilities dating back to 2019.

Commenting on the development, Kida expressed relief that D’Tigers would finally compete in the qualifiers, thanking the Minister for averting a potential FIBA ban and preserving the country’s reputation.

“Yes, even though this is coming late, it is heart-warming that our boys would eventually take part in the qualifiers for the 2025 Afrobasket championship,” Kida remarked.

“The board of the NBBF is deeply grateful to the Honorable Minister of Sports, Senator John Owan Enoh, for coming good with his timely support and of course, saving the country from disgrace, and another FIBA ban,” he said.

Looking ahead to the upcoming games, the NBBF assured Nigerian basketball fans that despite the rushed preparations, D’Tigers would strive to excel and secure qualification, aiming to make the nation proud once again on the continental stage.

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