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2022 World Cup: FIBA Replaces Nigeria With Mali After FG Ban

PHOTOS: D’Tigress Emerge Third Consecutive Afrobasket Winners

International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has replaced Nigeria with Mali at the 2022 Women’s World Cup billed for Sydney, Australia, later in the year.

Gatekeepers News reports that this comes after the federal government of Nigeria withdrew the country’s female team – D’Tigress from the competition.

In May, the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, 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.

The move came amid the ongoing power tussle within the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).

Meanwhile, the world basketball governing body while announcing it decision in a statement on Thursday morning said the NBBF “is unable to confirm its participation in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022.”

Consequently, it said D’Tigress would be replaced by Mali at the competition.

FIBA added that it “will announce whether there will be any other decisions related to the NBBF’s participation in other FIBA competitions and any potential disciplinary measures in due course.”

“FIBA was informed about the decision of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to withdraw the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) from all international basketball competitions and activities for a period of two years,” the statement read.

“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

“FIBA will announce whether there will be any other decisions related to the NBBF’s participation in other FIBA competitions and any potential disciplinary measures in due course.”

Members of the D’Tigress had earlier urged the federal government to allow them to participate in the FIBA Women’s World Cup competition for which the team had qualified.

In reaction to the latest development, Nigeria international basketball star, Ezinne Kalu who is an American-born said, “…I don’t think I will ever wear the green and white again.”

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