Super Eagles won’t be at the world cup in Qatar later this year because they didn’t qualify. But, the Ditgress who qualified for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup will not be playing any part in it.
Let’s talk about this.
11th of February 2022, Nigeria women’s basketball team recorded one of the biggest wins in their history, by stopping heavyweight France In a crucial world cup qualifier 67-65, to set themselves on the brink of qualifying for the mundial in Sydney, Australia.
Two days later, D’Tigress followed France’s triumph with a ‘routine’ 73-69 win over fellow west African rivals, Mali. This victory Confirmed Nigeria’s place at the world cup.
Players of the D’Tigress of Nigeria celebrated like never before in these two matches, feeling so proud of their achievement and already anticipating taking that momentum to the World Cup.
It’s very natural for these players to be elated after sealing a spot at the world, they couldn’t picture what the next 5months or so holds.
If a prophet or soothsayer told the players they won’t participate at the world cup despite qualifying, I am so sure such comments would be laughed at.
One cankerworm that has dealt Basketball in Nigeria a big blow is the ‘leadership crisis’. It raised it ugly heads when Nigeria Basketball Federation had two elected presidents from the two factions.
Two president were elected for just a position. At the end of the day we just say THIS IS NIGERIA (in Falz voice).
While the brouhaha was going on the sport minister Sunday Dare who is expected to find a lasting solution to the crisis rocking the basketball house and also take decisions in the interest of the players, released a statement banning Nigeria from Basketball activities internationally in a bid to resolve all of the issues in the Basketball federation and bring back the league, crediting the ban to the President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari.
Top Basketball pundits in Nigeria fumed at the move by Sunday Dare, lambasting the minister for taking Nigeria basketball to obscurity.
When I said “Nigeria banned Nigeria from Basketball activities” only Nigerians would understand.
With this decision made by the Federal Government (As the release stated). A lot of questions were asked, the players fought for the ministry or FG to rescind the decision, but they turned blind ears to their cry.
FIBA in a no time announced Mali as a replacement for Nigeria D’Tigress at the World Cup. Here’s a team that didn’t qualify.
After FIBA ruled Nigeria out of the world, I reached out to the players wishing them all best as we hope for better days for Basketball in Nigeria.
Here were some of the responses.
One of the players praised the team spirit.
Another player called it “heartbreaking” situation.
This player apparently expressed her shock to missing out but reiterated her willingness to play for Nigeria any day any time, that’s lot of love for the country.
Gentle reminder that Sunday Dare was the minister when officials of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development were been accused of failing to distribute $100,000 (N41.1million) allowances donated by three banks to Nigeria’s women basketball team for their Tokyo 2020 Olympic participation.
Heading to the aforementioned competition Nigeria basketball teams had issues, the minister did nothing to ensure everything was in order, as these players had to pay for their luggages heading to Tokyo.
This year will never be forgotten, as it will surely be counted as one of the darkest days of Nigeria basketball. Don’t get it twisted there’s been bright days too. But the highest of highs never last as long as the lowest of lows.
All the best D’Tigresses ❤️.