Basketball: Nigerian government reverses two-year self-imposed ban


The Nigerian Federal Government has reversed its earlier decision that banned the country’s basketball teams from participating in international competitions for two years.

The reversal comes just six weeks into the two-year self-imposed ban.

PREMIUM TIMES assembled an appeal letter dated June 17, 2022, from the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) signed by Musa Kida and addressed to the Honorable Minister for Youth Development and Sport, Sunday Dare, as well as appeals from different sectors triggered the change of direction.

Addressing reporters in Abuja on Thursday, Federal Ministry of Youth Development and Sports Permanent Secretary Ismaila Abubakar said that the intervention of concerned people inside and outside the country, former Nigerian international basketball players and well-meaning people to seeking solutions to the problems led to the decision to rescind the previous ban.


On May 12, 2022, the Ministry of Youth and Sports announced that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a two-year ban on international basketball activities following the never-ending crisis affecting the Nigerian Basketball Federation, NBBF.

That decision was criticized in various circles, but the Minister was adamant that it was the best thing to do to prevent basketball from dying; especially on the home front where there had been little or no activity.

The tough stance led to the removal of the Nigerian women’s basketball team, D’Tigress, from the World Cup squad list and was replaced by Mali.

It was feared that D’Tigers, the men’s team, would also suffer a similar fate with the men’s World Cup second qualifying round also approaching.

However, with the reversal of the ban, the men will be able to continue in their quest for World Cup qualification.

Prior to this change, the Minister for Sports had sworn in an interim management committee to oversee the running of basketball.

However, there are strong indications that the Musa Kida-led board will take over after its recognition by the international body FIBA.

Mark Igoche had been up to his neck in the fight for the leadership of the NBBF, having emerged as the winner in the parallel polls held in Abuja on the same day that Kida was voted in at the Elective Congress held in Benin City.

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