The Nigeria Basketball Federation has advised all club owners in the Men’s Premier League to take a cue from the response of FIBA Africa to their communiqué and fall in line or risk losing their league status.
On Monday, FIBA Africa Competitions Manager, Julien Farran directed that concerned stakeholders under the aegis of Nigeria Premier League Team Owners Council should go through NBBF for an official communication following their letter to FIBA.
The NBBF President, Engr. Musa Kida who was unequivocal while reacting to the issue said the federation is determined to conclude all domestic leagues for the 2018 season before December 31st and will not allow for any distraction from a body unknown to NBBF.
According to Kida, the NBBF’s door is wide open to all clubs who may want to engage the federation in a meaningful conversation as he warned against some selected few working against national interest and the growth of basketball in Nigeria.
“We are not operating a master-servant relationship. We, in the NBBF are here to manage basketball which belongs to every interested Nigerian both home and abroad.
“The channel of communication is always open for any club owner with a genuine concern, but we will not accept attempts to hold the federation to ransom.” Kida said.
Kida asserted that what happened in 2017 when Nigeria presented 4 teams on the continent was an abnormally which will never be allowed again by FIBA.
“2017 was a transitional period for our basketball. FIBA knows that and that’s why we were given a rare privilege to present 4 teams. Now that the dust has settled, FIBA has made it categorically clear their stand regarding Nigeria and its international representation.”
The NBBF President maintained that as a responsible federation driven by basketball development, it is a good development for players and clubs to play as many games as possible and participate in championships and invitational tournaments.
“The caveat is that such participation should not be at the detriment of the various national leagues. We have said it many times that the NBBF was going to organize all its domestic leagues before the end of the year. So, it is completely out of place for clubs who willingly participated in an invitational tournament to now start complaining of expending so much funds playing a private competition.
“It would have been ridiculous for us as a federation to have opted out of the 2018 FIBA World Cup just because we spent so much preparing in Atlanta, Lagos and Turkey where we played some friendly games.”
Nigeria’s continental representatives will only emerge from the Premier League for Men and Zenith Women’s League organized by the Nigeria Basketball Federation.