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‘We don’t agree with this ban’: D’Tigress beg FG to reverse basketball suspension

D’TIGRESS have called on the Nigerian government to end the ban placed on the country’s participation in international basketball.

The federal government, acting upon the advice of the sports ministry, recently withdrew Nigerian teams from all international basketball events for the next two years.

Citing ‘unending leadership crisis’ for its controversial decision, the government said it was for the best.

However, one of the teams adversely affected by the self-ban has spoken out against it, insisting that the decision will erode the recent international gains of Nigerian basketball.

“To whom this may concern. We, as the women’s national team of Nigeria, would like to speak on the government’s recently placed two-year ban on all Nigerian basketball international competitions,” the African women’s champions wrote on their Twitter account today.

“The D’Tigress team would like to state that we do not agree with this ban. This ban is taking away all our future competitions, accomplishments and goals to elevate, inspire, and make Nigeria proud!

“We would like to be given the opportunity to play for our country that we passionately love to represent in this upcoming FIBA Women’s World Cup competition.”

Despite the seven-year crisis, some of it caused by the different sports ministers within that period, Nigerian basketball has made big strides internationally.

Within that timeframe, D’Tigress have won the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket title three times back-to-back, qualified for the Olympics and the World Cup.

D’Tigers, the men’s national team, have also won the AfroBasket title, and reached the FIBA World Championship and the Olympics.

Both teams have also overtaken Angola and Senegal as Africa’s top men’s and women’s teams in the FIBA rankings.

D’Tigress insisted that the ban would make their hard work and achievements redundant.

“We have worked very hard to be 3x AfroBasket champions, Olympians and now we are blessed with another opportunity to continue that representation for Nigeria,” the statement continued, referring to the qualification for the World Cup slated for Australia in September.

“We want Nigerian basketball to continue to grow and succeed on every level; from the local leagues, grassroots and even on the international stage!

“We believe that all levels of Nigerian basketball can excel with the proper attention, togetherness, and organization. Our team is a testament to how successful Nigerian basketball can be and how we have been an inspiration to all Nigerian athletes across the globe.

“We wish to express our gratitude to all the coaches, medical staff, organizers, and fans. This ban not only penalizes us but you all as well. Your commitment and loyalty to our team will never go unnoticed.

“Our goal is to play and represent Nigeria proudly! We, as the Nigerian Women’s National Team, plea for the reversal of the international basketball ban for Nigeria. We hope to be heard! Thank you.”

The sports ministry’s Twitter account was directly tagged in the statement, signed ‘Yours truly, D’Tigress’.

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Naija Times