The national men’s basketball team D’Tigers have been handed a lifeline of playing at the 2024 Olympics scheduled for Paris.
Two defeats from three games during the recent 2023 FIBA World Cup qualifiers in Abidjan left Nigeria in a precarious position. With Nigeria not yet guaranteed a place at next year’s World Cup in Japan, Indonesia and The Philippines, an outing in Paris had seemed out of reach.
But with the new rule, even if they do not make the 32-team World Cup, D’Tigers will still have an opportunity to reach the 2024 Olympics going by the latest FIBA rule.
Prior to the new rule, teams that qualified for the last eight of the World Cup were guaranteed a place at the Olympics, while others would have to battle it out for a slot in another set of qualifiers.
However, a statement on the FIBA website indicated that Nigeria, top-ranked basketball country in Africa, still stood a chance to slug it out in the newly introduced Olympics qualifying tournament.
“While most of the teams going to the Olympics will do so with their performances at the World Cup, as happened when teams booked their places in China 2019 for the Tokyo Games, there will still be a path to Olympic qualification, thanks to the newly introduced pre-OQTs that will offer tickets for the OQTs.
“Seven teams that do not make it from the Second Round of the African Qualifiers for the World Cup will be eligible, as well as the best-ranked team (in the FIBA World Ranking) that did not play in the Second Round, so eight teams,” the website read.
Rivers United, Wydad AC Clash: CAF Unveils Match Officials
Ahead of the second preliminary round tie match against Rivers United FC and Wydad AC in the CAF Champions League, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has revealed the match officials for the first leg.
The Pride of Rivers will play hosts to the Moroccan outfit, at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium on Sunday, with Côte D’Ivoire officials in charge.
Ibrahim Kalilou Traore will be at the center of proceedings, assisted by countrymen Adou Hermann Desiré N’goh and Nouho Ouattara as First and Second Assistant, respectively.
Bienvenu Sinko, an Ivorian as well, will be the Fourth Official while Langtombong tombong Tamba, a Gambian national, will be the Match Commissioner.
Meanwhile, Ozi Salami Abdulrahim Onimisi will be the Covid-19 Officer as designated by CAF.
After the Sunday first leg, the second is slated a week later, in the Morocco with the aggregate winner advancing to the Group Stage of the Champions League.
The other team will then earn a spot in the CAF Confederation Cup, one step away from the Group stages.
Cricket: Nigeria Beats Sierra Leone To Top Group
Hosts Nigeria defeated Sierra Leone by 11 runs to top Group B in a nerve-wrecking game at the ongoing ICC U-19 World Cup Africa Division Two Qualifiers in Abuja.
Nigeria won the toss and elected to bat. Usual suspects Paul Pam and Selim Saliu opened the batting order for Nigeria, putting up an excellent partnership to score a 100 for the team, before Pam was sent to the stands in the 27th over.
Pam’s dismissal was the twick Sierra Leone needed to dismiss the hosts successfully in the next 20 overs, limiting Nigeria to 184 runs, all out in 47.4 overs.
The second innings meant Nigeria needed to defend the score against a strong-willed Sierra Leonean side, with captain John Bangura steering the ship.
Bangura, who played 87 runs, not out in 118 balls, raced the run score for Sierra Leone, before Prosper Useni halted their pace, claiming six wickets in the process.
The visitors scored 173 all out in 41.5 overs.
The loss means they set up a clash against Kenya, winners of Group A on Thursday, while Nigeria will face the runners-up in Group A, Malawi.
Prosper Useni emerged player of the match with bowling statistics of six wickets and 26 runs in 6.5 overs.
Super Falcons Fall To Japan 0-2
Super Falcons lost 2-0 to a dominant Japan side in their friendly clash at the Noevir Stadium, Kobe yesterday morning.
The encounter which was the third ever between both teams saw Mina Tanaka scoring the two goals for the Nadeshiko.
Rany Waldrum was without Asisat Oshoala but had Chiamaka Nnadozie in goal, making crucial saves to keep the scoreline respectable.
Although the team fielded other stars like Rasheedat Ajibade, Michelle Alozie, Uchenna Kanu, Ngozi Okobe among others, they played second fiddle to the Nadeshiko.
Takana got Japan in the lead in the 64th minute tapping home from a freekick before doubling the advantage four minutes later from the spot.
The Super Falcons are now without a win in their last five games.
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