The world governing body for basketball, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has threatened to sanction Nigeria over a ban placed by the government on the national basketball team for a period of two years.
FIBA made this known in a letter addressed to the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), dated May 18, 2022 and signed by its Head of Legal, Jaime Lamboy.


According to the letter, FIBA pointed out that Nigeria’s decision contravenes Article 9.7 of FIBA’s General Statutes.
“National member federations shall manage their affairs independently and with no influence from third parties,” part of the letter read.
The Nigerian government had last week announced that it had banned the NBBF from all international basketball competitions for a period of two years.
But Article 10.2 of the FIBA Statutes provided that on the initiative of the Secretary-General, FIBA Central Board may suspend a national member federation for the breach of Article 9.7.
It therefore means that if FIBA should sanction Nigeria, the country would not participate in the 2024 Olympic Games, as well as the 2025 World Championships for the male and female teams.
Also reacting to a letter written to it earlier by the NBBF, FIBA said, “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 materialises, 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.”

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