Tuesday, April 23, 2024

After releasing N12 billion for Super Eagles, D’Tigers to miss AfroBasket qualifiers over lack of funds from Tinubu’s government

It is not the first time that paucity of funds has threatened the D’Tigers’ participation in a major basketball tournament.

• February 21, 2024

The Nigeria national basketball team, D’Tigers, will not feature in the 2025 FIBA AfroBasket championship after the team opted out of the qualifiers over lack of funds from the government.

“Despite several 2020 Olympians committing, D’Tigers will forfeit this AfroBasket Qualifiers window due to lack of funds from government,” the official X account of the D’Tigers posted on Wednesday.

The 2015 champions, drawn in Group B of the 2025 AfroBasket qualifiers alongside Cape Verde, Libya and Uganda, are due to participate in the qualifying tournament scheduled for Tunisia in the next two days.

Unfortunately, Nigeria will not participate in the qualifiers with the flight tickets for team members yet to be booked due to lack of funds as at the time of filing this report, thereby forfeiting their participation in the main tournament next year.

It is not the first time that paucity of funds has threatened the D’Tigers’ participation in a major basketball tournament. In 2019, the team nearly missed out on featuring in the 2019 FIBA World Cup until a late intervention by Muhammadu Buhari-led government.

D’Tigers’ fate is completely different from that of the Nigeria national football team, Super Eagles, who recently participated at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations as president Bola Tinubu released 12 billion naira for the team heading into the tournament.

Meanwhile, it is unclear whether Mr Tinubu’s government will come up with a late intervention plan for the team to participate in qualifiers in the face of economic crisis raging the whole country as the naira continues to free fall.

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