The Federal Government of Nigeria have taken a u-turn on their decision to suspend the Nigerian Basketball teams from all International competitions for the next two years.
On Thursday, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Ismaila Abubakar, announced that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate return of Nigeria to international basketball competitions.
He said the latest decision is based on a letter of appeal from the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF). He explained,
“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.”
Furthermore, he added that,
“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.”
Following the inital announcement by the Federal Government to ban all Nigeran basketball teams from International competitions, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) replaced the Nigerian women’s team, D’Tigress with Mali ahead of the Women’s World Cup to be held later in the year.
It remains to be seen if this reversal by the Federal Government would cause a change in that decision.