D’Tigers, the Nigerian male basketball national team, has condemned the way the country’s government has been running the sports. This follows the withdrawal of Nigerian basketball teams from international competitions by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
International Basketball Federation (FIBA) had subsequently banned the Nigerian female basketball team, D’Tigress, from the upcoming 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup.FIBA chose Mali, as the next ranked team from Group B of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, to participate in the tournament.The world basketball governing body said it would announce whether further disciplinary measures would be taken against Nigeria.In May, Sunday Dare, minister of youth and sports development, said President Buhari had agreed to withdraw Nigeria from competing in any international basketball competition for the next two years. The minister added that the withdrawal was part of efforts by the government to revamp the sport from the grassroots. The move came amid the ongoing power tussle within the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF). On Thursday, FIBA announced that the D’Tigress have been kicked out of the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup after the Nigerian 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, D’Tigers, the male team on its official Twitter account, condemned the government for not allowing 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. We hope someday Nigeria will be led by a government without corruption & greed. The future of Nigeria basketball is extremely bright and we are being held back by our leaders,” the tweet read. “Nigeria is the best basketball country in Africa. This didn’t happen because of our leaders. It happened because of the players and staff who put their blood, sweat, & tears into their work. Nigeria’s biggest threat from progress is Nigeria. We need change.”