Basketball: D’Tigress threaten to boycott 2022 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

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.Demand for payment of USD 197,180 debt
.Give other conditions too

Players of Nigeria’s women’s Basketball team, D’Tigress have threatened to boycott the 2022 FIBA World Cup qualifying tournament if the demands they have put up before the Federal Government, leaderships of the NBBF and the Ministry of Sports are not met.

D’Tigeress who took turns on the popular microblog social media, Instagram to air their grievances said they are asking for the payment of debt owed them, the officials and volunteers to the team.

Speaking through Adaora Elonu the Tigress said they would like to have improved travel plans to competitions while they are also requesting that they are presented with a functional Team Manager who can serve as the liaison officers between them and the sport leaderships.

“We demand the payment of the money owed the players, officials and other volunteers. We want adequate travel plans to competitions and a Team Manager for all team’s functions,” Elonu said in a social media post.

“If these demands are not met, with all due respect to the Presidency, NBBF and the Ministry of Sports, all D’Tigress players will not be reporting to the FIBA World Cup qualifiers in 2022 in February. We are one united voice.”

Atonye Nyingifa, another Basketballer explained what has hindered D’Tigress’ chances of performing at international competitions especially at the last Olympics in Tokyo where the team lost all their three group matches despite showing the potentials before the Olympics that they could compete with the best.

Nyingifa said: “A lot of things that could have been handled differently to increase our chances of success starting with our travel, flight arrangements. Our team uniform making sure they are of standards.

“Two practices a day and not been able to access medical staff at some points during the Olympics as well as gift exchange between the teams.”

Ify Ibekwe who shone brilliantly at the Olympics and also at the recently held FIBA Afrobasket Championship in Cameroon where D’Tigress were victorious opened up on the debt the players, officials and volunteers are owed

“We are owed USD 73,180 by the NBBF, USD 24,000 by the Ministry of Sports for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics grant and USD 100,000 from donations from three banks in Nigeria,” Ibekwe stated.

On her part, Ezinne Kalu felt D’Tigress have been marginalised and that all their demands have been left unattended to ever since their former Team Manager resigned under cloudy circumstances.

“Ever since our former Team Manager resigned, we feel that we have been marginalised. Former Presidents never really show up for camp to boost our morale… They gave vague answers as if our concerns are unimportant to them but when we win, they showed up for dollow up celebrations for political gains.

“Musa Kida was not in Cameroon but somehow he showed up in Abuja to take pictures and to raise the trophy again for political gain.”

All the D’Tigress players spoke in unison that they deserve more than they are getting and that the outgoing leadership of the NBBF led by Musa Kida has not brought the needed succour to them despite winning three Afrobasket Championship back to back.

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