Nigeria national basketball team D’Tigers earlier scheduled trip to China in continuation of their preparation for the FIBA World Cup has suffered a huge setback over poor funding from the government. The Nigeria Basketball Federation is battling to raise the needed funds and keep the team in the right mood for the global campaign.
The General Manager of the team, Musa Adamu lamented on the tough road for the team to the FIBA 2019 World Cup in China.
He said, “I cannot tell you exactly when the team is leaving for China, the basketball federation has been doing a lot for this team. We started this elimination over a year ago and now going to two years and the federation has been funding the trips for each window.
“Each window, we had to bring players, fly them down, accommodate them and also pay insurance and all these things have been done singlehandedly by the federation with a promise from the ministry to support us, but we are still expecting and hoping that they will do so before we leave for China.”
The former Nigerian international detailed that despite plans to adequately prepare the team for the apex global sports fiesta, the unavailability of funds might just be the clog in the wheel of the team’s preparation.
“The team is here in Nigeria, so we hope that they will act because we don’t know when we will leave. There are no funds available for now. The federation is looking up to the Ministry with the hope that the funds will be released for us to leave.”
Adamu praised Engr. Musa Kida and his NBBF board members for their selfless sacrifice throughout the qualifiers as he appealed to the President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and save the country from global embarrassment.
“I wish to appreciate the federation, the President, Musa Kida and the board. They have been doing so much for this team and basketball and I think it’s time for government to step in and assist us.”
Adamu also had words for President Buhari.
“I would like to use the forum to call on the President, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari to turn his eyes a little bit to D’Tigers because they are also a national team. We are expecting support from him to release funds for our team to be able to participate in this World Cup.”
Adamu regrettably admitted that the team which became the first country in the world to qualify may end up not participating at the World Cup starting on the 29th of August if funds are not released on time by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports.