Chairman, Caretaker Committee, Nigeria Basketball Federation, Musa Kida, has attributed the early ouster of Nigeria basketball teams at the Tokyo Olympics to the reduction in the number of technical crew at the Games.
Kida disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja, while giving insight into the activities of the federation ahead of the next board election.
D’ Tigers and D Tigress of Nigeria were both eliminated in the group stage of the Olympics.
This came after an impressive build-up to the games which saw D’ Tigers beating highly rated U.S and Argentine teams.
The NBBF boss who expressed disappointment at not making the cut at the Olympics narrated how the International Olympic Committee through the Nigeria Olympic Committee gave a directive to reduce the technical crew from eight officials to just three.
“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 the directive that we are only entitled to only three officials which included only two technical officials.
“I was very sad to understanding 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,” he said.
According to him, he became more apprehensive when he noticed at the start of the games that other teams had a full complement of their technical crew, which left him wondering if it was tactical sabotage.
“We became more suspicious when the games began, we discovered that other countries were carrying full complements of their coaches and officials, even countries that do no have as many athletes as we did.
“From there, the players became demoralised no doubt, 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 instruction came from the IOC at the Olympics. It was the same situation for the men and the women teams,” he said.
Kida, however, said the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, had to step in to ensure a slight increase in the technical crew and boost the confidence in the camp.
“Seeing the situation on the ground, the minister rallied round to see that there was an increase in the number of our officials for the team.
“The minister really helped us in 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.
Infantino Reveals How Nigeria Can Host FIFA Competitions
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino last Thursday, in Abuja, revealed how Nigeria can be made a destination for top Grade A football matches and FIFA competitions.
Infantino gave the insight when the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare took him on a tour of the renovated main bowl of the MoshoodAbiola National Stadium.
The FIFA boss, who was visibly happy with the re-grassed pitch at the stadium, said well-maintained stadia with good pitches were key to hosting grade A matches.
He said FIFA was ready to work more closely with Nigeria to develop the game and host more grade A matches in the country.
“We (FIFA) have to make sure when a country, when a government with the President, the minister and private persons are investing in football, in stadia, we work with them to give something back.
“It’s obvious that stadiums like this (MoshoodAbiola stadium) and others in Nigeria deserve the best quality games.
“They deserve top national team games, top club games and it’s not just about Nigerian football or African football, it’s about global football.
“We are working together to see what kind of new opportunities, competitions we can bring for men and women to fill this stadium and make the heart of the stadium beat for the fantastic spectacle that all of the Nigerian love, which is football,” he said.
Earlier, the minister said the Federal Government will continue to invest in sports development and facilities.
Tidesports source reports that the FIFA President, in the company of the minister, had earlier visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Statehouse, as part of his engagement.
Why NFF Must Offset Rohr’s Salaries, Bonuses – Aikhomogbe
Former Nigerian goal keeper, Andrew Aikhomogbe has called on the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to resolve every outstanding salaries and bonuses owed to the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr before the next World Cup qualifiers against Central Africa Republic (CAR).
Aikhomogbe made this known on the backdrop of the football body’s recent deal with Baba Ijebu.
Although the financial details of the deal was not disclosed, Aikhomogbe in an interview with Newsmen from his base in Cairo, Egypt, stated that the NFF should use this platform to offset Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“It’s a big delight to know that the Nigeria Football Federation have signed a deal with Baba Ijebu and this will serve as an opportunity for them to use part of the money to pay Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“There is no better time to motivate him than now before Nigeria’s next 2022 World Cup qualifiers against the Central Africa Republic (CAR) on October,” he said.
Enyimba Players Vow To Support Finidi
Enyimba FC Goalkeeper, John Noble has stated that the players of the People’s Elephants will be key to the success of the newly appointed coach of the team, Finidi George.
Finidi, signed a two-year deal with Enyimba and oversaw his first full training session with the team on Thursday after a cameo appearance on Wednesday.
Speaking in a chat with Tidesports source, Noble gave his assessment of the coach in his first session under the manager and believes the former Super Eagles winger has what it takes to lead the team to the next level.
He added that the Enyimba players will be the ones to hand Finidi George his success at the club.
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