The President of the Nigeria Basketball Coaches Association, Scott Nnaji, has played down the threat of an imminent ban by the world basketball federation (FIBA), over the federal government’s intervention in the affairs of Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF.
The Customs Service Basketball Club’s coach said this while speaking with journalists at the MKO Abiola National Stadium in Abuja on Friday where the final 8 of the Men’s Premier Basketball League competition is holding. The competition is being organised by the sports ministry.
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The government had constituted a task force to run the affairs of the NBBF pending its election which the government indefinitely postponed.
The Head Coach of Heritage Basketball Academy, John Preye, expressed fears in a statement on Wednesday that: “I am really worried because Nigeria stands the risk of a ban by FIBA over this unwholesome government interference which negates Article 9.10 of FIBA General Statutes”.
However, Nnaji who had coached the Nigeria women’s national basketball team in the past said: “Let’s forget about that talk, nobody is afraid of FIBA. They are part of those that put us in this deep shit.”
He said one would have called the government’s intervention an ‘interference’ if there was a working constitution, adding that what is being brandished by one of the groups is not a constitution.
“Somebody just made up his constitution, made up rules, made up how he is going to come back, made up everything by himself without those stakeholders in place,” he said while referring to the constitution designed by the Musa Kida-led board of NBBF.
He, however, allayed the fear of an imminent ban, saying the secretary of the federation is in constant contact with FIBA.
“If that [the ban] will happen, they won’t be in contact with her [the NBBF’s secretary].
“I will love for us not to have anything to do with FIBA for now and build our house back together.
“For four years, we have not played any championship, we have not done anything in-house. Most of our players are playing outside,” the newly elected technical officer into the NBBF said.
Speaking about the final 8 competition, he said: “We suppose to have played a league before we get to this level [Final 8] which is the final stage.
“But we want to play. You can see that the players are happy and ready to play.
“If they said we should play for two weeks, the players will be ready to play but we have to submit the list for the continental competition on 17th.”
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