NIGERIA CLOSING DOOR ON A 200 BILLION DOLLARS SPORTS INVESTMENT

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By Nathaniel Mobolade.


The Nigerian Government and stakeholders in the sports circle are closing doors on a 200 billion dollars sports industry with the incessant crisis in almost all the Sports Federations in the country.

The Federation crises that readily comes to mind are that of Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF and that looming crises in the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF.

The ban on Basketball activities by the Ministry of Sports headed by Honourable Sunday Dare,has inadvertently closed the door on that massive billion dollars investment by foreign sports investors through signing of players, siting of Sports facilities in the country for talent nurturing.

The ban by the Ministry has ruled out the participation of the female basketball team from the FIBA World cup later in the year and the male team from the Olympics.

It is interesting to know that the major players in the crisis of ‘ego’ that has rocked the federation are not punished but those that sells the name of the country positively to the world through their sweat and qualifying for tournaments.

How do we expect investment from the outside world, when the administrators are busy fighting an ego fight that has crippled the federation which has affected the players and other upcoming ones that are still in the grassroots looking forward to hitting the limelight.

In the world, FIBA,FIFA and other world organisations look up to Nigeria’s participation in sporting events because of the mileage and the market value they bring. To say D’Tigress will not be at the FIBA World cup is unheard of, not that they did not qualify, but because of the crisis caused by some men who do not mean well for the development of the game but their own selfish ambition.

Nigeria is a power house in basketball as she has many on the international scene especially in the NBA: Akeem Olajuwon, Masai Ujuru, the present coach of the Bolton Celtics Ime Udoka (currently playing at the NBA play-off).

It is absurd punishing players who sacrificed everything to qualify Nigeria for these global events but the administrators dragging their efforts in the mud.

Imagine, if there was no crisis for the past 7 years,the Nigeria basketball would have been doing wonderfully well. Even,with the crisis,the players have put the name.of the country on high pedestal.

Also,in the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, the impending crisis after the tenure of the incumbent president, Amaju Pinnick, is one that will rock the Nigeria Football if it’s not handled well now.

The Minister of Sports/Ministry, should call all the stakeholders together to reach a compromise especially withdrawing all court cases to pave the way for a smooth running of the activities of the Federation for a new board. We can take a cue from the Cameroonian FA headed by Samuel Eto Fils.

Again, the ministry has to follow the recommendations of the committee it constituted to look into the crisis rocking the NBBF.

However, the ministry can withdraw the Ban by writing to FIBA to reintegrate Nigeria into the world Cup.It will be a win-win situation for all.

Mali should not reap where they did not sow by playing in the world cup. The Labour of our heroes/heroines should not be in vain.

Federations is supposed to reward athletes not to
Punish them,help them qualify and compete for events to put Nigeria’s name on the sporting map continually.

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