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FG makes u-turn, lifts ban on international basketball

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The Federal Government has lifted the two-year ban on the Nigerian national teams from participating in international basketball competitions.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Ismaila Abubakar, confirmed the development at a press briefing on Thursday.

Abubakar revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the return of Nigeria to all international basketball competitions, following an appeal by the leadership of Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) board.

“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.

“Flowing from the above and upon a review, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development approached and placed these developments before President Muhammadu Buhari being one that is committed to youth development and desirous of ensuring that they are availed of all opportunities in sports and other endeavors considered the appeal and in the overriding spirit of national interest, love for our youth, and in order to avoid sending basket development into a long period of suspension when NBBF have now committed to the resolution of the issues which precipitated the withdrawal in the first place has approved the return of Nigeria to international basketball immediately.”

Abubakar, however, added that depite the approval, the stakeholders were warned to ensure that the country’s law are not subjugated to any other law.

It would be recalled the Federal Ministry had announced the withdrawal of Nigeria from all international basketball competitions for a period of two years due to the leadership crisis in the NBBF.

Nigeria’s women’s basketball team, D’Tigress had disagreed with the move as it affected their participation at the 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup in Sydney, Australia billed to commence in September. They were, however, later replaced by Mali.

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