The Nigerian female basketball team, D’Tigress have been kicked out of the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.
The development is coming barely a month after President Muhammadu Buhari‘s led government withdrew all teams from international competitions.
A statement earlier by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, had noted that the withdrawal would give the government a big opportunity to address the internal crisis and power tussle within the federation and to revive the domestic league which has been put on hold.
D’Tigress had defeated France and Mali in the Group B of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade to qualify for the World Cup scheduled for play in Sydney, Australia, starting in September 2022.
Deliberation was said to have been ongoing in the background with the Nigeria Basketball Federation to see how the withdrawal decision could be rescinded for the defending African champions to represent the continent.
The global basketball body stated that Nigeria was withdrawn from participating in the tournament due to the failure of the NBBF to confirm Nigeria’s participation in the tournament.
Mali which had lost to the Nigerian team in their clash in 2021, will now replace the D’Tigress as Africa’s representatives, being the second-ranked team in the group.
FIBA’s statement reads in part, “In subsequent communications with the NBBF, and despite FIBA’s request, it has become clear that against the circumstances created by the government’s decision, the NBBF is unable to confirm its participation in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022.
“Given the multiple strict deadlines that cannot be postponed in order to ensure the successful staging of a major international event (visa procedures, schedules, ticket sales, accommodations, friendly games, preliminary rosters, flight tickets, accreditations, etc.) and to protect the integrity of the competition, the FIBA Executive Committee has decided as follows:
“Nigeria’s withdrawal from the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 is confirmed.
“Mali, as the next ranked team from Group B of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, is invited to participate in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022.”