The Nigeria women’s basketball team, D’Tigress, have threatened to boycott the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers over shoddy manner the three-time African champions have been treated by eggheads of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).
Still smarting from their historic feat of winning three consecutive FIBA Afrobasket titles, the D’Tigress players have now broken their silence, claiming they being owed catalogue of allowances and bonuses.
In a video on Twitter, the women decried the injustices that have been allegedly perpetrated on them by the outgoing NBBF board, led by Musa Kida.
The women, who have vowed to boycott the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, also listed the conditions that would make them have change of heart.
They requested for the payment of the backlog of their bonuses and allowances, an improved welfare package, and to be honoured by the Nigerian presidency for doing the nation proud.
The ladies wonder why their historic feat of winning three straight African titles has not warranted being invited to Aso Rock even if it is only for the ceremonial presidential handshake.
A member of the D’Tigress, Promise Amukamara, dismissed the claims by the Kida-led NBBF that the team is not being owed any monies.
“This is far from the truth, last time we checked, our allowances stipends, bonuses, training grants, and donations made by banks for players, officials, and volunteers have still not been paid,” she said.
Another member of the squad, Ify Ibekwe, outlined the monies they are owed.
She said: “We are owed $73,118 by the NBBF, $24,000 by the Ministry for the Tokyo grant, and $100,000 donation from three banks in Nigeria.”
For Ezinne Kalu, she stated that since their General Manager and Team Manager resigned, “they are being marginalised.”
She said “the outgoing president never really shows up in camp and competitions” to boost their morale and when they have significant issues that make him present, “he only provides vague answers like our concerns are not important to him.”
“Musa Kida was not in Cameroon but somehow he showed up in Abuja for pictures and political gains,” she said.
The D’Tigress also opened up on the many avoidable distractions that led to their poor outing at the Tokyo Olympics.
The women said that unless their grievances are fully attended to, they would be boycotting the World Cup Qualifiers.
The FIBA World Cup qualifying tournaments will feature four national teams each, with the top three from each qualifying for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2022 to complete the 12-team field for the main event.
D’Tigress will compete against host Australia, USA (Olympics winner), Puerto Rico, Brazil and Canada.
The tournament will also have Serbia, France, Belgium, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Russia in attendance alongside the top four teams from the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup.