Sports

Lack of funds forces D’Tigers out of AfroBasket qualifiers

Former champions, D’Tigers of Nigeria, have pulled out of the 2025 FIBA AfroBasket qualifiers billed to start in Tunisia this weekend. Nigeria is drawn in Group B of the 2025 AfroBasket qualifiers alongside Cape Verde, Libya and Uganda.

The team announced its withdrawal from the pre-championship tournament due to the Nigeria Basketball Federation’s (NBBF) inability to secure necessary funding from Federal Government.

A source close to NBBF President, Musa Kida, told The Guardian yesterday that the federation could not find the money to buy flight tickets for team members, who are scattered across the United States and Europe.

Earlier in a tweet in its official X handle, yesterday, NBBF lamented that it was withdrawing from the qualifiers despite convincing members of the 2020 Olympics squad to participate. It said: “Despite several 2020 Olympians committing, D’Tigers will forfeit this AfroBasket qualifiers window due to lack of funds from government.”

This is not the first time funding would scuttle Nigeria’s basketball’s participation in a major championship.Early this year, the NBBF was contemplating withdrawing the women national team, D’Tigress, from participating in the Paris 2024 Olympics qualifiers. But the federation later secured the funding from the government to send the girls to Belgium, where they qualified for the Games.

An NBBF official lamented that the Federal Government always gave football a preferential treatment to the detriment of other sports, pointing at the recent N12.5 billion recently given to the Nigeria Football Federation ahead of the just-concluded Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire.
The final window of these qualifiers will hold from February 17 to 25, 2025 in yet to be designated countries

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