Players of Nigeria’s women basketball national team, D’Tigress, have come out to state that the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF) and Sports Ministry owe the team over N80m ($197,118) while also lamenting being used by officials for political gains and generally being ignored.
In a damning video titled ‘D’Tigress Taking a Stand’ and posted on the team’s social media page, the squad – which won all their matches to claim a third successive African title in Cameroon at the end of September 2021 – stated the NBBF owes the team $73,118 while a further $24,000 is owed by the Sports Ministry and another $100,000 donated by three banks in Nigeria has yet to be paid to the team.
The team also lamented the shoddy arrangement surrounding their participation at the basketball event of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and highlighted how players feel generally marginalised and ignored by officials.
According to the team, one instance of such poor treatment is NBBF President Ahmadu Musa Kida being absent in Cameroon throughout the 2021 Africa Nations Cup yet showing up in Abuja – Nigeria’s capital – “to take pictures and hoist the trophy, again, for political gain.”
D’Tigress players went further to say in the video that it would not show up for the next FIBA World Cup scheduled to hold in Sydney, Australia in February 2022 unless a number of demands are met.
Those demands include payment of all monies owed the players, officials and vendors, the appointment of a team manager for all team functions, and provision of adequate travel to competitions.
The team also wondered in the damning video why no invitation to the Presidential Villa has been extended to the team despite successfully defending the African title in 2019 and 2021. D’Tigress players have not been in Nigeria since 2019, not even for any training camp ahead of competitions.
Nigeria’s D’Tigress defeated Mali 70-59 on September 26 in Yaounde, Cameroon to claim a fifth African title and qualify alongside their Malian counterparts for the 2022 FIBA World Cup.