President Muhammadu Buhari has said no Nigerian Basketball team will be allowed to compete in any International competitions for the next two years.
The ban was announced on Thursday an is apparently a result of the crisis facing the leadership of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) and to address the dwindling development of the sport in the country.
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, announced the ban in a statement. He said the withdrawal was to provide the government with the opportunity to revamp the game from the grassroots.
The statement reads,
“Following the unending crisis which have 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 with immediate effect.
The withdrawal of Nigeria is in order to concentrate the efforts by the Government towards revamping the sports from the grassroots as well as domestic leagues which have become moribund.”
“This will also allow for the setting up of an Interim Management Committee (IMC) to oversee the management and development of the domestic basketball leagues in Nigeria”. The statement also added.
Earlier this year, FIBA, the world’s governening body threatened to expel Nigeria over the leadership crisis in the NBBF.
In January 2022, two factions of the NBBF held two different elections, in Abuja and Benin respectively. Two presidents emerged from these elections, each claiming the other to be the result of a fraud election. In the elections held in Abuja, former player Igoche Mark emerged as the president, while in Benin City, Musa Kida was elected as the returning president of the federation.