Following Nigeria’s decision to withdraw from International events for two years, the world Basketball Governing Body, FIBA has threatened punishment.
This was mentioned in a letter from Jaime Lamboy, FIBA’s Head of Legal, dated May 18, 2022, addressed to factional Nigeria Basketball Federation President Musa Ahmadu-Kida.
Following a lingering leadership rift in the NBBF, Sunday Dare, through the Permanent Secretary of the sports ministry, Ismaila Abubakar, announced last week that the President Muhammadu Buhari had given approval to withdraw Nigeria from all international basketball competitions for two years, with immediate effect.
The minister went on to say that the withdrawal would help the country revitalize basketball from the ground up and put an end to the basketball crisis.
FIBA, on the other hand, cautioned that Nigeria could face sanctions because of the withdrawal, citing Article 9.7 of FIBA’s General Statutes, which stipulates, “National member federations shall handle their business freely and without third-party influence.”
FIBA also reacted to a letter earlier written to them by the Ahmadu-Kida-led NBBF board.
“In such letter, you pre-emptively informed FIBA of the apparent decision by the Nigerian Government (Federal Ministry of Youth & Sports Development) intending to have Nigeria take a break from all international engagements for two years and enabling an Interim Management Committee to run the affairs of the basketball in Nigeria,” the letter read.
“As you already are aware, Nigeria is due to participate in the following FIBA competitions in the upcoming months: FIBA 2023 Basketball World Cup Qualifiers (FBWC23 Qualifiers) FIBA 2022 Women’s Basketball World Cup (FWBWC22).
“As you are aware, any withdrawal of Nigeria from the above mentioned competitions will trigger potential disciplinary sanctions as per the FIBA Internal Regulations. Furthermore, if the absence of Nigeria from international competitions for the next two years materialises, the consequences may spread out well past such a two-year period.
“For example, please note that the withdrawal from the FBWC23 Qualifiers is also a withdrawal from the Paris 2024 Olympic qualification process. Similarly, depending on third-party results, the same situation could apply with respect to FIBA AfroBasket 2025.”
“Accordingly, we request from the NBBF to immediately inform FIBA whether its participation in the above mentioned competitions is or not ratified.
“We take the opportunity to remind the NBBF of its obligations to manage its affairs with no influence from third parties, as per Article 9.6 of FIBA General Statutes.”