Nigerian women basketball superstar, Ezinne Kalu hinted at early retirement from international duties via her official Twitter account.
Nigerian basketball superstar threatens retirement in retaliation to the President Buhari’s 2-year ban on the sport
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The 29-year old point guard tweeted “I don’t think I will ever wear the green and white again” as a reaction to the official confirmation of Nigeria’s shocking withdrawal from the upcoming 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup in Australia.
The official FIBA Twitter account announced that Nigeria will now be replaced by Mali, the team they beat to secure qualification in the first place.
Ezinne Kalu did not take the news well and unofficially announced her retirement from the national team in response, making her the first D’Tigress player to publicly react to the latest development.
Why was Nigeria withdrawn?
The Nigerian women’s national team also known as the D’Tigress were forced to withdraw from the 2022 World Cup which they had qualified for fair and square due to no fault of theirs.
President Muhamadu Buhari placed a two-year ban on all basketball activities in the country which was why the team had to withdraw from the World Cup despite the pleas of the players.
The basketball ban which ultimately led to the withdrawal was a result of the ongoing war between factions in the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF.
The pleas from the players for the government to lift the ban and let them participate in the showpiece tournament in Australia fell on deaf ears as nothing was done until the FIBA deadline passed.
And now, Mali who lost the qualifiers to Nigeria will now go instead as the biggest beneficiaries of this messy situation.