D’Tigers players in their last phase of World Cup camping in Lagos are distraught following the uncertainties surrounding their participation in the tournament tipping off August 31, 2019 in China.
D’Tigers are one of the 32 teams that have qualified for the World Cup that also serves as the 2020 Olympics qualifier.
The best-placed African team in the tournament automatically qualifies for the Olympics. Five teams namely Nigeria, Tunisia, Senegal, Angola and Cote d’ Ivoire are representing Africa at the World Cup.
The players’ distraught is as a result of the uncertainties surrounding their participation at the World Cup, due to lack of funds.
The federal government, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has not released funds for the World Cup, despite not funding the team’s qualifying tournament, though it promised to do so.
The team’s General Manager, Musa Adamu, who spoke yesterday, revealed that the situation in camp looks gloomy as players felt neglected by the government.
“They are not happy. They feel neglected. They believe that if it is football, government will not treat them like this,” said Adamu.
“It is not that it is the basketball World Cup, but that the tournament also serves as 2020 Olympics qualifier. This is the more reason why government should provide the funds. This is the national team; the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has tried its best.
“The government should not leave the burden to the NBBF alone. The NBBF in the past two years has funded all national team assignments, both men and women with nothing coming from the government,” he lamented.
D’Tigers are the first African team to qualify for the World Cup.