Players of the national women’s basketball team, D’Tigress have vehemently protested the federal government’s self-imposed two-year international ban of the sport, Megasportsarena.com reports.
In a series of tweets on Thursday, the ladies appealed to the Nigerian government to have a change of heart to forestall a downward spiral of the sport in the country.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports announced last Thursday that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the country’s immediate withdrawal from all international basketball competitions for two years, “following the unending crises that have plagued and nearly crippled Basketball development in the country…”
Below is the statement from the D’Tigress.
To whom this may concern,
We, as the Women’s National Team of Nigeria would like to speak on the government’s recently placed two year ban on all Nigerian Basketball International competitions.
The D’Tigress team would like to state that we do not agree with this ban. This ban is taking away all our future competitions, accomplishments and goals to elevate, inspire, and make Nigeria proud!
We would like to be given the opportunity to play for our country that we passionately love to represent in this upcoming @FIBAWWC competition.
We have worked very hard to be 3x Afrobasket Champions, Olympians and now we are blessed with another opportunity to continue that representation for Nigeria.
We want Nigerian Basketball to continue to grow and succeed on every level; from the local leagues, grassroots and even on the international stage!
We believe that all levels of Nigerian basketball can excel with the proper attention, togetherness, and organization. Our team is a testament to how successful Nigerian Basketball can be and how we have been an inspiration to all Nigerian athletes across the globe.
We wish to express our gratitude to all the coaches, medical staff, organizers, and fans. This ban not only penalizes us but you all as well. Your commitment and loyalty to our team will never go unnoticed.
Our goal is to play and represent Nigeria proudly! We, as the Nigerian Women’s National Team plea for the reversal of the International Basketball ban for Nigeria. We hope to be heard! Thank you.