The Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF) has denied media speculations that it has indicated interest to host the 2021 edition of the FIBA Afrobasket competition.
In a reaction to reports in a section of the local sporting media that Nigeria was in the race to host the biggest basketball competition on the continent, the NBBF board said it was just a figment of some people’s imagination.
Speaking yesterday morning in Lagos, the board through its President, Musa Kida, explained that at no time did the NBBF submit any bid to host the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket Championships for either men or women.
“What happened was that at the end of qualifiers in November, 2020 in Kigali, FIBA did approach us asking whether there was a possibility that we could host. We said we needed to come back home and discuss with the authorities especially the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports before we could get back to them on the possibility of hosting.”
Due to the timing and the prevalent circumstances on the Covid-19 pandemic, the federation could not conclude with the Federal Government which put paid to such an idea.
“We did not conclude on that because it was the end of the year and nobody was available for such discussion.”
He said hearing rumours about Nigeria hosting either of the championships came as a surprise to him and members of the board.
The Federation’s focus had since shifted to FIBA Afrobasket qualification for men (already achieved) as well as adequately preparing the D’Tigers and D’Tigress for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
“We were being considered to host but right now, the door is closed and FIBA Africa has already decided that Men’s competition will be in Rwanda and for the women, Nigeria is not in the race anymore.”
NBBF hosted some countries across Africa in 2018 when it put up a colorful display during the second and fourth window of the World Cup qualifiers at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
Before then, Nigeria hosted the 2005 FIBA Women Championship in Abuja and clinched second Afrobasket title.