Members of Nigeria’s national female basketball team, D’Tigress, have threatened to boycott the FIBA World Cup qualifiers in Serbia if the Nigerian authorities refuse to pay their outstanding financial entitlements.
The team has been owed outstanding bonuses and allowances since the 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup in Tenerife, Spain, and efforts to get full payment have been futile, leaving players and officials frustrated.
Though in October 2021, the Ministry of Sports made attempts to resolve the dispute between the players and former board of Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) led by Ahmadu Musa Kida over bonuses and money donated by corporate organisations in Nigeria ahead of the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo, Japan, the players rejected the proposed part payment of debts owed them, insisting on receiving all their entitlements.
Following the failure of the sports authorities to resolve this issue, the team in a New Year message to fans has threatened not to be a part of the World Cup qualifiers in Serbia if the outstanding allowances and bonuses were not paid to players and officials in full.
The team said, “Since the conclusion of the hearing at the beginning of November, no line of communication or responses have been received by D’Tigress from the House, Ministry of Sports nor Musa Kida concerning the repayment of the debts.
“More than seven weeks have elapsed since the chairman’s decision for the former NBBF President, Kida, to settle the players and officials’ debt of D’Tigress, while the ministry completes the Olympics training grant balance, yet no engagement.
“We are sending a reminder to all involved including the Ministry of Sports, Musa Kida, House of Representatives and FIBA concerning these debts.
“Adaora Elonu, our representative, can be a bridge for communication. However, no official communication has been established through her either.
“With the FIBA World Cup qualifiers approaching in Serbia, we stand our ground and will not be scrambled into competition at the last minute.”