FIBA qualifiers: Kano Pillars, Gombe Bulls threaten to sue NBBF over planned exclusion

Home » FIBA qualifiers: Kano Pillars, Gombe Bulls threaten to sue NBBF over planned exclusion

The clubs, in separate letters to the Executive Director, FIBA Africa, Alphonse Bile, said they were dismayed to learn that there was a move to rob them of the tickets.

They accused the leadership of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, whose basis of existence is still being contested, of working towards stopping them from participating in the competition.

“We have noted with dismay that the Kida-led faction of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, in connivance with the President of FIBA Africa Zone 3, Sam Ahmedu, are trying to replace us.

“They planned to replace us with their favoured clubs, which failed to take part in the final round of the Kwese Premier League,’’ the clubs said.

The clubs, in the letter copied to the Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Sports, said it was high time the continental basketball ruling body waded into the crisis.

“This will be for the good of the game in the country.’’

The clubs in the letters signed by Ibrahim Sa’ad, Chairman of Gombe Bulls, and Bashir Bello, Secretary of Kano Pillars, respectively noted that it was an unfortunate development.

“It is unfortunate that Kida and his group were doing everything within their reach to jeopardise the future prospect of the players who merited their qualification for the competition.’’

The clubs said their contention was necessitated by the fact that they have been kept in the dark on their participation in the Zone 3 qualifiers billed to hold in Lagos from Oct. 19 to Oct. 29.

“Few weeks to the championship, we remained worried that to date neither the Zone 3 office nor the Federation has informed us of the details.

“More disturbing and surprising to us is the story going round that the NBBF is considering nominating clubs outside the two finalists in the domestic league to participate in the zonal qualifiers.

“We find this, if confirmed, to be unacceptable and a clear violation of the laid-down criteria of participation in the competition.

“It is our considered opinion that the earlier your esteemed body put a stop to this charade the better it will be for Nigerian basketball.

“We believe that bringing the ongoing leadership crisis into the game will jeopardise the future prospect of players who have no business in the faceoff,” Kano Pillars stated in their letter to the continental body.

Gombe Bulls, on their part, stated thus: “We find this to be a deliberate attempt by Sam Ahmedu, the President of Zone 3, to rubbish our hard-earned achievement and drag us into the protracted NBBF crisis which is under adjudication by FIBA World.

“It is, therefore, pertinent to inform you that we will not accept this flagrant manoeuvre being orchestrated by the Kida faction.

“We will definitely take all necessary action, including legal litigations, to secure and protect our mandate.”

The NBBF had, at its board meeting late last month, resolved not to allow the two clubs to represent Nigeria at the qualifiers.

It had claimed this was because the clubs ignored its directive not to take part in the final phases of the Kwese Premier Basketball League organised by the Federation’s immediate-past board.

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