Nigeria Basketball is at crossroads after FIBA threatens it with sanctions. The threat came after Nigeria placed a two-year ban on its national basketball team. The threat was delivered via an official letter from FIBA to NBBF. The letter was signed by FIBA Head of Legal, Jamie Lamboy. The justification behind the upcoming sanctions lies in Nigeria’s violation of Article 9.7 of FIBA’s General Statutes.
The letter read, “National member federations shall manage their affairs independently and with no influence from third parties,” excerpts from the letter read.
Nigeria’s banning its national basketball team for two years provides enough ground for FIBA to take punitive measures. According to Article 10.2 of FIBA Statutes, the Secretary-General and FIBA Central Board have the right to suspend any national member federation that breaches Article 9.7.
This means that if sanctions do happen then Nigeria will miss the 2024 Olympics and 2025 World Championships for both male and female national teams.
FIBA further adds, “In such letter, you pre-emptively informed FIBA of the apparent decision by the Nigerian Government (Federal Ministry of Youth & Sports Development) intending to have Nigeria take a break from all international engagements for two years and enabling an Interim Management Committee to run the affairs of the basketball in Nigeria.
“As you already are aware, Nigeria is due to participate in the following FIBA competitions in the upcoming months: FIBA 2023 Basketball World Cup Qualifiers (FBWC23 Qualifiers) FIBA 2022 Women’s Basketball World Cup (FWBWC22).
“As you are aware, any withdrawal of Nigeria from the above-mentioned competitions will trigger potential disciplinary sanctions as per the FIBA Internal Regulations. Furthermore, if the absence of Nigeria from international competitions for the next two years materializes, the consequences may spread out well past such a two-year period.
“For example, please note that the withdrawal from the FBWC23 Qualifiers is also a withdrawal from the Paris 2024 Olympic qualification process. Similarly, depending on third-party results, the same situation could apply with respect to FIBA AfroBasket 2025.
“We take the opportunity to remind the NBBF of its obligations to manage its affairs with no influence from third parties, as per Article 9.6 of FIBA General Statutes.”