The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has warned that clubs are at the risk of losing their positions in the Premier Basketball League and any other NBBF organised competition if they participate in the Invitational Tournament scheduled to start on the May 6.
NBBF Secretary, Asiegbu Chimezie, said in a statement wednesday that this pronouncement became necessary to avoid what happened last season when clubs said they were not officially warned to stay away from tournaments not sanctioned by the federation.
â€œThe Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) has made its position known regarding basketball issues in Nigeria. It is clear who is in charge of basketball affairs in the country until such time that a new constitution is drafted which will usher in the election of a new board.”.
Asiegbu warned that as the only body recognised by FIBA, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), the NBBF board under Amadu Musa Kida is the only body authorised to organise the country’s national premier competition from where the champions and the runners up will be selected to represent Nigeria in any international club competition.
The Secretary said that those sympathetic to the group led by the former President of the NBBF, Tijani Umar, may argue that the federation is not under any elected board at the moment but there are individuals currently saddled with running its affairs and corresponding with FIBA.
“No other person or group of persons can hold itself out as the NBBF. FIBA is presently dealing with Ahmadu Musa Kida (President), Babatunde Ogunade (Vice President) and Chimezie Asiegbu (Secretary General) as contained in the last FIBA letter of 13th March, 2018 and captured on the FIBA website under the Nigeria Basketball Federation column.â€
The memo further stated that apart from the monetary incentives being dangled before the teams, their participations will also not qualify them for any international competition which includes the FIBA Africa Zone 3 Champions Cup Qualifiers and the FIBA Champions Cup Final rounds which have now metamorphosed into the FIBA Afro league.
â€œThe Kwese Premier League Sponsorship Agreement is with the NBBF and not with an individual. We do hope therefore that the Kwese/NBBF Sponsorship Agreement is not being converted to sponsorship of a competition that is not under the purview of the NBBF or plans to that effect.
He therefore urged all stakeholders to take reasonable steps to protect the integrity of NBBF and the future of the game in the country.