June 22, 2024

By Agbaosi Babatunde Nunayon

Nigeria women’s basketball team, D’Tigress have said that the self-imposed international ban embarked upon by the Nigerian Government is not a good option to develop the game.

Captain of the team, Adaora Elonu who spoke on behalf of the team said that it had become necessary to speak up again after the players noticed a video in circulation which had been manipulated and put out of context “just to create the sad impression that the players were now in support of the ban.”

She said that rather than support the ban, they have been making pleas and great efforts on a daily basis to make the government reconsider that decision and lift the ban.

Elonu told Sporting Sun from her base in Europe said that, “D’Tigress has been open in making it clear that we do not support the ban in anyway.

“We want the opportunity to play in any way possible. Our team statement released earlier still holds. We love competing for Nigeria and want the chance to continue to do so. In no way are we supporting the ban enforced on the international competitions. We continue to plead for the removal of the ban.”

The sports minister Sunday Dare last month announced a self-imposed two year ban on international events. The world basketball body FIBA responded to the surprise move from Nigeria by calling in Mali to replace D’Tigress who were already billed to feature in the September FIBA World Cup in Australia.

Many concerned Nigerians had raised their voices against the government’s decision before FIBA ejected D’Tigress but the outcries were ignored. The Nigerian women are also already out of the 2024 Paris Olympics as a part of the fallout of Nigeria’s decision to take a self ban.

D’Tigress are the current African champions and have not lost a match to any African team since 2017.