Nigeria has withdrawn from the FIBA Africa Zone 3 Under-18 Championship for Boys and Girls scheduled to commence tomorrow in Cotonou, Republic of Benin.
The competition is the qualifiers for the FIBA Africa Under-18 Championship scheduled for Kigali, Rwanda in October, 2016.
The winners and runners up in Rwanda are to represent Africa at the 2017 World U-19 Championships for Men and Women.
FIBA – Africa Zone 3 was informed of Nigeria’s withdrawal via an email on Monday, June 27, 2016, just five days to the commencement of the championship in Cotonou.
The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) did not give any reason for the country’s withdrawal.
FIBA Africa Zone 3 President, Col. Sam Ahmedu ( Rtd), who confirmed the development said;
“It is indeed a sad development that Nigeria, which is one of the top countries in the zone is withdrawing at this eleventh hour for a tournament it registered for over four months ago.
“This will no doubt take some shine off the championship. This development also denies Nigerian youth players the opportunity of competing with their peers at this level. Coming on the heels of the recent visa imbroglio which denied the National U-17 girls team travelling to Spain for the World Championship, it means that our Nigerian youths will not be participating in any international Tournament this year.”
Meanwhile, all arrangements for a successful championship have been concluded for the Zone 3 Qualifiers holding at the Halle des Arts, Cotonou, Benin Republic on Saturday, July 2, 2016.