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Friday, December 8, 2023

Mali replace Nigeria at Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022

Mali have replaced Nigeria at the 2022 Women’s Basketball World Cup set to be played in Australia in September and October.

The sport’s world governing body, Fiba, announced the move after the Nigerian government’s decision in May to withdraw from international basketball for two years.

Fiba added it will announce whether there will be any other decisions related to the Nigeria Basketball Federation’s participation in other Fiba competitions and any potential disciplinary measures in due course.

Those measures look set to involve the men’s team and whether they will take part in the ongoing African qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup, which are due to continue in July in Rwanda.

“It has become clear that given the circumstances created by the government’s decision, the NBBF is unable to confirm its participation in the Fiba Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022,” a statement said.

It added the decision had been taken: “Given the multiple strict deadlines that cannot be postponed in order to ensure the successful staging of a major international event and to protect the integrity of the competition.”

Mali have been invited to take part instead of Nigeria as they were the next best-ranked team from Group B of February’s qualifying tournament in Serbia.

In May Fiba warned that the government’s move to appoint its own interim committee could lead to Nigerian basketball missing out on playing internationally for more than just two years.

The government withdrawal from all international basketball came after a protracted leadership crisis for control of the NBBF.

The problems began in 2017 when Musa Kida and then-incumbent Tijani Umar emerged as leaders of two factions claiming control of the NBBF after two separate elections.

Issues have continued despite Kida being re-elected as NBBF president in January, a result which was ratified by Fiba in March.


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