The Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) has confirmed Nigeria’s withdrawal from international basketball competitions by inviting Mali to replace D’Tigress at the upcoming FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.
FIBA, in a statement released in Mies, Switzerland on Thursday, said it was inviting Mali to replace Nigeria in view of its position as the next ranked team from Group B of the qualifiers.
Nigeria’s D’Tigress had qualified for the global event at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup Qualifying Tournament held at Belgrade, Serbia in February.
The World Cup is scheduled for Australia from Sept. 22 to Oct. 1.
But in May, Nigeria’s Federal Government said it was withdrawing Nigerian teams from international competitions for a period of two years.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this was as a result of the protracted leadership crisis in the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).
FIBA has now said it was informed about the decision and subsequently communicated with the NBBF board led by Musa Kida.
“In spite of 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 World Cup.”
The world basketball governing body said it must now react to that development and act accordingly.
“Given the multiple strict deadlines that cannot be postponed in order to ensure the successful staging of a major international event.
“These are all in relation to visa procedures, schedules, ticket sales, accommodations, friendly games, preliminary rosters, flight tickets, accreditations, etc.
“In order to also protect the integrity of the competition, the FIBA Executive Committee has decided in this regard,” it said.
FIBA said it would in due course announce whether there would be any other decisions related to NBBF’s participation in other international competitions and any potential disciplinary measures.
NAN reports that FIBA is an independent association formed by 212 National Basketball Federations throughout the world.
It is recognised as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).(NAN)