Africa We Want

NIGERIA: BASKETBALL: Knocks trail Nigeria’s withdrawal from global basketball

Nigerian basketballer Upe Atosu has described the decision to withdraw the country from international competition for two years as « heart-wrenching ». By The Nation

The decision, announced by Nigeria’s ministry of youth and sports and approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, means Atosu and her teammates will miss September’s Women’s World Cup in Australia.

As things stand it also means the men’s team will not be able to take part in the ongoing African qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup, which are due to continue in July in Rwanda.

A letter from the ministry said the withdrawal was because of “the unending drama that have plagued and nearly crippled basketball” in the West African country.

« [This] will enable Nigeria to revamp the sports from the grassroots as well as domestic leagues which have become moribund, » the letter added.

The Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF) is to be dissolved and an interim committee appointed to oversee the management of the game in the country.

« Sport is not [a] puzzle that you have to crush what’s working to fix what’s not working, » Atosu, who helped Nigeria win the 2017 African title, posted on Twitter.

« This isn’t the best route. »

She added on Facebook: « I have so much to say yet it breaks my heart to see Nigerian basketball in the mud. This game has been a blessing to many people, remember that our leaders. »

Author: MANZI
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