By Antigoni Zachari / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Nigerian government gave the go-ahead for its national basketball teams to resume play after lifting a self-imposed ban that was set in place in early June.
After the Nigerian Basketball Federation appealed to the government and former Nigerian international players intervened to raise awareness of the ban, the decision to overturn the restriction was made and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari approved the return to play, according to the Nigerian Ministry of Sports.
The Nigerian government removed its teams from international competitions for a two-year term invoking a leadership conflict and other organizational issues within the Federation.
Toronto Raptors President and former Nigerian NT member Masai Ujiri, as well as Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka were among the first basketball figures to react to the government’s decision, with the former sending an open letter both to the Nigerian officials and the federation.
Regardless of the fact that the Nigerian government has reversed its decision, the women’s national team has lost its place in the FIBA 2022 Women’s World Cup. Mali stepped in as their replacement and it’s unclear whether or not Nigeria will be able to ultimately compete in the tournament.
Photo credit: FIBA