THE Nigeria Basketball Federation has, through a statement issued from the Media office yesterday, declared the African Basketball League which kicked off in Lagos at the weekend illegal.
The statement which was made available to Sports Vanguard reads, “The attention of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF, the sole competent governing body of basketball in Nigeria has been drawn to the unauthorised take-off of an unapproved basketball league in Lagos going by the name “African Basketball League” organised by a group calling itself Africa Sports and Entertainment Management Company Limited (ASEMC).”
The NBBF distanced itself from ABL, adding, “only the NBBF has the competence and authority to approve such a league in Nigeria and only FIBA Africa, the governing body of the game in Africa is competent to approve any type of African league and no such approval has been granted by either of the two bodies.”
Explaining its position on the matter, the NBBF said conditions set before organisers of the league by the two authorising bodies had not been met and insisted that ASEMC must follow the “path of honour by observing due process and obtaining approval from the competent bodies before floating the league.”
In its firm disapproval of the ABL, the NBBF advised participating clubs to desist forthwith from taking part in the competition or face ban from the DStv Premier League because “the ABL as presently constituted and presented to the unsuspecting public is unauthorised and illegal.”
The federation clamped down on technical commissioners, statisticians and the referees who officiated in the ABL matches with indefinite suspensions.