By Victor Kanayo
Nigeria will as from Monday, August 14, 2023, host up to eight African countries in the FIBA Pre-Olympic qualifiers, despite the dilapidated state of the indoor hall of the country’s national stadium in Surulere, Lagos State.
The countries are Tunisia, Cameroon, Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Uganda, DR Congo and host Nigeria.
The week long sporting event is scheduled for Lagos state.
The Africa’s largest populous nation is hosting the competition through the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).
Talking about its readiness, NBBF said despite the withdrawal of the two countries and the attendant disappointment to the ever-growing basketball fans who are expected to throng the venue of the games, the federation said it was undaunted and totally committed to staging a successful tournament.
Nigeria’s Lack Of Sporting Facilities, Funding Woes Continue
NBBF said the tournament is taking place at the highbrow Eko Hotels Convention Centre, due to the current state and unavailability of Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
Findings by Heritage Times (HT) revealed that NBBF is still grappling with funds to host the event and participate in its various competitions in 2023.
The Federation’s struggles to host the pre-Olympic qualifier and participate in other basketball events is happening amidst claims by the immediate past Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, that federal government had secured renovation partnerships with the private sector to fix different facilities at National stadia in Abuja and Lagos.
Part of the latest press statement by the NBBF through its media department on Monday reads, “NBBF, therefore, emphasised the need and importance of adequate funding, even as it is making a passionate appeal to the government to ensure a speedy release of all its pending funds expended by the board to execute many of its recent programmes; including that of the victorious and successful outing of D’Tigress at the just concluded Afrobasket championship in Kigali, Rwanda, and other long outstanding liabilities.”
Heritage Times (HT) reports that Nigeria’s senior women team, D’Tigress, few days ago won 4th consecutive Afrobasket tournament in Kigali Rwanda, yet their allowances were yet to be paid as at the time of writing this piece.