Chairman of the caretaker committee of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) Engr Ahmadu Musa Kida has revealed why Team Nigeria’s men and women basketball teams, D’Tigers and D’Tigress, performed woefully at the recent Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games.
The two teams failed to win a single match at the Tokyo Games, losing all their three group matches respectively.
Kida, who spoke to journalists in Abuja, attributed the teams woeful outing to wrong instruction given to the NBBF by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) through National Olympic Committee (NOC) that the D’Tigers and D’Tigress were only entitled to only three officials each, which included only two technical officials.
He described the instruction as sabotage that cog in the wheel of acceleration of Nigeria teams at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“We were always entitled to a full complement of our officials in the games, but after our preparations, and getting to the Olympic proper, the NOC came with a directive that we are only entitled to only three officials which included only two technical officials.
“I was very sad to understand that they are only going to allow three of our technical officials, instead of the eight or nine which we are already used to. This actually affected the team immensely and cost us the first two games.
“We became more suspicious during games when we discovered that other countries were carrying full complement of their coaches and officials, even countries that do not have as many athletes as Nigeria.”.
“From there, the players became demoralized as they could not have their coaches that could be giving them the needed technical talks. What NBBF did though, was to make sure that everybody was on ground. That hurt us so badly, no doubt about it.”
“We interrogated the basketball governing body, FIBA, who actually claimed ignorance on why such an instruction came from the IOC at the Olympics. It was the same situation for the men and the women teams,” Kida said.
He however commended the minister of youth and sports development, Chief Sunday Dare, for the supportive role he played during the Tokyo Olympics Games.
“Seeing the situation on ground, the Minister rallied round to see that there was an increase in the number of our officials for the teams. The Minister really helped us all out by ensuring that we had an increase in the number of officials, by then, we had lost the first two matches at the Olympics. It was through the efforts of the Minister that the camp was finalised without any issue. This was enough boost for us, we can’t thank the Minister enough,” Kida said.