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African basketball club championships for Nigeria

*We must take our leadership position back – Kida

*Lifts sanctions on suspended clubs, referees, players and coaches

Nigeria will for the first time in 10 years host an international basketball competition after winning the hosting bid for the 2017 FIBA Africa Club championship zonal elimination finals.

Board members of Nigeria Basketball Federation...taking decisions to take sport to next level
Board members of Nigeria Basketball Federation…taking decisions to take sport to next level

The hosting right of the event which was held in Togo in 2016 was awarded to the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) by FIBA Africa zone 3 after it met all the criteria for a prospective host.

The President of the NBBF, Engineer Musa Kida, said having been out of international circulation for the past one decade, it was high time Nigeria claimed her place in Africa as the true giant that she truly is.

Arising from its board meeting which was held in Lagos, the board unanimously agreed that the absence of any meaningful international competition in Nigeria has adversely affected the clubs.

“The cost of prosecuting these international competitions by these clubs when they travel out will be at least reduced by 50%. Now, clubs participating in the elimination series will only be worried about internal transportation, accommodations and payment of allowances for their players.”

Kida said the move to host the event slated for October 19th to 29th is part of plans to rewrite the story of Nigerian basketball as a force to reckon with in Africa.

Meanwhile, the federation is considering biding for the 2017 FIBA Africa Women’s club championship slated to hold in November.

The Nigeria Basketball Federation board decided to lift the indefinite sanctions imposed on some clubs, referees, coaches and players over allegations of participating in illegal leagues in the 2015 season.

Having established that the indefinite ban on the referees, players and three Lagos state based clubs who are part of the traditional teams in the Atlantic Conference was not done in good faith by the former board, the NBBF decided to overturn the sanctions.

Speaking on behalf of the federation after their board meeting held in Lagos, Engineer Musa Kida said after their fact finding mission and communication with the affected parties, it was established that due process was not followed in clamping down in the team’s.

In view of this, the NBBF decided to reinstate Lagos Islanders, Dodan Warriors and Union Bank in the league system with immediate effect ahead of the 2018 league season.

“We were able to establish that the decisions taken by the former board were not in the overall interest of basketball in Nigeria. It’s a strange practice all over the world where an accused is not summoned to defend his actions.

Obviously, their suspension affected the standard of the league. In the Atlantic Conference, you hardly find fans coming to the venues because of the standard of the league which dropped as a result of these decisions.”

Speaking further, the NBBF President said the suspensions which dated back to 2016 were not in accordance with any laid down domestic or FIBA rules.

“There is need to start on a clean slate in order to continue our quest to change the face of basketball in Nigeria. As a board, we are determined to operate and lead with the best interest of the game at heart. Any decision we are going to take will always be in the overall interest of all stakeholders. We will definitely operate with a human face.”

Affected clubs, referees, players and coaches will be officially communicated with.

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