FIBA replaces Nigeria’s D’Tigress with Mali for 2022 world cup after FG ban
Nigeria’s female basketball team, D’Tigress, have been barred from participating in the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup after the Federal Government withdrew all teams from international competitions.
Last month, Sunday Dare, minister of sports and youth development, said President Muhammadu Buhari had agreed to withdraw Nigeria from competing in any international basketball competition for the next two years.
The minister added that the ban is part of efforts by the government to revamp the sport from the grassroots.
D’Tigress had qualified for the World Cup billed for Sydney, Australia, starting in September 2022, after defeating France and Mali in the final qualifying tournament.
FIBA’s decision comes after deliberations with the Nigeria Basketball Federation to see how the decision could be rescinded for the defending African champions to represent the continent.
The world basketball governing body stated that Nigeria was withdrawn from participating in the tournament due to the failure of the NBBF to confirm Nigeria’s participation in the tournament.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, who Nigeria beat in the 2021 AfroBasket Women’s Championship final to clinch their fifth title, will now replace the D’Tigress as Africa’s representatives.
“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,” the statement said.
“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.”