The Tijani Umar-led faction of the Nigeria Basketball Federation has hailed the Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA) for granting Nigeria the opportunity to host the FIBA Men’s World Cup qualifiers in Lagos.
Rising from a aboard meeting and without prejudice to the FIBA directive regarding control of Nigeria’s International participation at FIBA tournaments, the Media Adviserr, Patrick Omorodion, noted in a signed statement that the Umar-led board, “ appreciate that in spite of our current turbulent internal political situation within the NBBF, FIBA continues to believe in our maturity and patriotism, to the extent that they would still trust us with hosting a tournament such as this, at this time. We assure FIBA that this trust is not misplaced, and we pledge our unflinching support to the success of this tournament.
‘’We congratulate Nigerians, who are getting the chance to watch our dear national team play live in front of our own fans, in this important tournament. Many have followed the ground-breaking exploits of the team over the years, from our historic back to back Olympic qualifications, to our Afrobasket Championship, to our recent thrilling exploits during the World Cup Qualifiers, and longed for a chance to see our team in person and that moment has arrived’’.
Continuing, the board urged the feuding parties to set aside their differences in order to move the country forward, even as it rallied D’Tigers to do the country proud in the qualifier.
‘’At this time, we urge all Nigerians to set aside any differences which could divide us, and unite with one accord to cheer our team to victory at this tournament. We will certainly be at the game venues to do our part in this regard.
‘’We salute our gallant players, who have brought so much pride and honor to our country Nigeria, over the past years. We urge you to continue to exhibit the same exemplary standards of professionalism, commitment and patriotism, which have enabled you to write your names in Gold on previous similar occasions. We assure you of our continued support’’.