The federal government of Nigeria overturned its previous decision to ban the country’s basketball teams from participating in international competitions for two years.
The reversal comes just six weeks after the self-imposed two-year ban.
Journalists has collected an appeal letter dated June 17, 2022, from the board of directors of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) signed by Musa Kida and addressed to the Honorable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, as well as appeals from different neighborhoods have triggered the u-turn.
Speaking to reporters in Abuja on Thursday, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Ismaila Abubakar, said the intervention of concerned people inside and outside the country, former Nigerian international basketball players and individuals well-intentioned to seek solutions to the problems guided by the decision to lift the previously imposed ban.
On May 12, 2022, the Ministry of Youth and Sports announced that President Muhammadu Buhari approved a two-year ban from international basketball activities following the unending crisis plaguing the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF.
That decision criticized in several quarters but the Minister stood his ground that it was the best thing to do to save basketball from dying; especially on the home front where there had been little or no activities.
The hard stance led to the removal of the Nigeria women basketball team, D’Tigress from the roster of teams for the World Cup and were replaced by Mali.
There were fears D’Tigers – the male team – would also suffer a similar fate with the men’s second phase World Cup qualifiers also approaching.
However, with the reversal of the ban, the men willl be able to continue in their World Cup qualification quest.
Before this reversal, the Minister of Sports had sworn in an interim management committee to oversee the running of basketball.
However, there are strong indications the Musa Kida-led board will take up the role following their recognition by the international body, FIBA.
Mark Igoche neck deep in the leadership tussle for the NBBF, having emerged as the winner in the parallel polls in Abuja the same day Kida voted in at the Elective Congress held in Benin City.