Players of the senior men’s basketball team, D’Tigers have cried out over the non-availability of funds for their FIBA Basketball World Cup preparation.
Last month, the home based D’Tigers had to travel by road to Mali for the inaugural edition of the FIBA AfroCan. While the D’Tigress also faced financial challenges and had to delay their departure for the FIBA Women’s Afrobasket 2019 in Senegal by two days.
The team however left for Dakar when the Nigeria Basketball Federation could raise funds.
Aclsports.com gathered that the Nigeria Basketball Federation has been catering for itself and corporate sponsorship in the last two years. They were only been able to get refund for their 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup expenditure last month after so many reminders.
www.Aclsports.com also learnt that the sports ministry is yet to release any fund for the team’s World Cup preparation and travel logistics.
D’Tigers forward Stan Okoye wants the sports ministry to attend to their basic needs in preparation for the World Cup in China starting August 31st.
Speaking via his official twitter handle @StanOkoye_ he said, “I hate to do this, but as me and my teammates have been preparing for the upcoming World Cup we have faced a lot of adversity. As players, coaches, and staff we try to focus on the basketball side of things and avoid the politics.”
Okoye continued, “I say all of that to say that the Sports Commission of Nigeria hasn’t released the funds held for us to lodge, travel, etc. Of course we will manage, show up to China, and fight for this country, but something has to change!
Meanwhile, another member of the D’Tigers Ekpe Udoh also called for the release of funds to aid the team prepare adequately for the World Cup.
“Dear Sports World, with two weeks before the FIBAWC, the Nigerian Sports Commission refuses to release the money allocated to us for training, travel, and food! We have a special team and possibly the best yet. I hope this gets resolved soon,” said Udoh.
In the same vein, D’Tigers guard Ike Iroegbu also voiced out his complaints via his Twitter handle @Be_LikeIKE .
“It has been an honour and privilege to play and represent Nigeria in preparation for the FIBA World Cup. However the sports commission of Nigeria refuses to release the money allocated to us for training, food, travel, and equipment in order to properly prepare for the World Cup. It made things very difficult as the President of the Federation, coaching staff, and even players have had to pay for everything personally. Hopefully this issue can be resolved among the higher authorities as my team mates and I look forward to continuing our preparation and goal of reaching the podium at the 2019 FIBA World Cup.”
Chimezie Metu and Ike Nwamu both posted similar comments made by their teammate Iroegbu on their respective social media handles.
The team is expected to depart Nigeria next week for the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China from August 31st.