Factional president of the Nigeria basketball federation, Tijani Umar has blamed the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) for the leadership crisis that has engulfed the federation for over two years.
It will be recalled that the Ministry of Sports had mandated that all elections into sports federations must be held on June 13, 2017, at the National Stadium in Abuja.
The election that threw up Tijani Yusuf held on the 12th in Kano while the one that brought forth Musa Kida held on the 13th, but away from the National Stadium in Abuja.
In a chat with the media during a stakeholders meeting held in Abuja, Umar said the meeting was a legitimate one.
“I like to clear up the air that we are holding a legitimate stakeholders meeting. Its not by buying or renting a crowd, it is about people who have served basketball in the last 25 years coming together to discuss the crisis in the basketball federation leadership crisis.
“The sad thing about the crisis is that it is man made and we are discussing how best to conclude the crisis. We will release a communique to this effect,” he said.
Umar further revealed that there is NBBF board following the directive from FIBA.
“The truth of the matter is that there is no legal NBBF board as we speak. Every election after the 2013 NBBF elections has been declared null and void by FIBA.
“So, nobody can stand up to say he is the president or board of NBBF until that position is reversed or vacated. Until that time there is no legal board of NBBF.
“In a very sad way, FIBA is gradually becoming part of the problem. I don’t want to blame FIBA per say, I want to blame the African office of FIBA for compromising.
“We are bringing value to basketball. We actually at this time do not need basketball but someone has to be foot soldier to stand up and do the right thing.
“FIBA has boxed itself into a very difficult corner and they have a moral dilemma. They must come and solve this problem.
“The stakeholders will not give up, they will not get tired. They will continue to do the right thing. The players are losing their income, they are suffering and disorganized. The local leagues are very dear to our heart. We are not pretending. They are suffering.
“This is July and we are thinking of starting league when we should be midway into the league because the crisis has decimated the real owners of the game – the players, coaches, referees, technical committee, statisticians, match officials,” he concluded.