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FG lifts ban on international basketball competitions

The Federal Government has lifted the ban on Nigeria’s basketball teams from attending international competitions.

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Youth and Sports Development Ismaila Abubakar disclosed this at a news briefing in Abuja on Thursday.

Abubakar said the decision is based on a letter of appeal from the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).

He said the NBBF also promised to resolve the issues which precipitated the withdrawal in the first place.

He explained that the “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.”

He said President Muhammadu Buhari has mandated the ministry to ensure the implementation of the undertakings by the NBBF.

The NBBF crisis which began in 2017 after two parallel elective congresses held in Kano and Abuja produced two Boards, headed by Tijani Umar and Musa Kida, who was anointed by the then Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung; meant domestic basketball in Nigeria was under lock and key, while the litigation that preceded the polls, raged on.

The world governing body for basketball, FIBA, has replaced Nigeria’s female basketball team, the D’Tigress, with Mali for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 in Belgrade.

Writing by Tina Oyinsan