Fund threatens D’Tigress African title defence

Pius Ayinor

African champions D’Tigress of Nigeria are programmed to depart Lagos for Dakar on Monday, August 5th but that plan is now doubtful as the Nigeria Basketball Federation is yet to raise the needed fund to execute the trip.

The Vice President of NBBF, Babs Ogunade confirmed to Extrasportsnigeria.com on Friday that cash was still far from being available for the 2019 AfroBasket for Women billed to start in Senegal August 10. The Nigeria women won the last competition held two years ago in Mali.

Ogunade said, “The only challenge now is how to get the team (D’Tigress) to Dakar and it is a real problem. There’s no fund available for now. We have never had it this challenging and it is quite a battle get the team going.

“It is tough like this because we have virtually all the competitions hold so close to each other.”

The sports ministry serves as the last resort for many of the federations even though the NBBF board has embarked on quite elaborate self funding and corporate sponsorship in the past three years. They are hoping this time that the sports ministry could be of help.

“What we have been told by the ministry is to hold on but I can’t for now say how much that could translate to,” Ogunade added.

Extrasportsnigeria learnt that the basketball federation has only been able to get refund for their expenditure towards the 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup held in Spain after so many reminders. The refund was received by mid July, 2019.

D’Tigress are already programmed to check out of their Eko Hotel on Sunday for the flight on Monday as the NBBF begins to cut down bills in preparation for the arrival in Lagos of the men’s team before their journey to China for the FIBA World Cup. D’Tigers are already in camp in the USA and having two friendly matches against Dominican Republic.