A major stakeholder in the nation’s basketball sports sector, Col Sam Ahmedu has described the attacks on the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) as politically motivated. Ahmedu who spoke yesterday in Lagos said rather than attack the Musa Kida led NBBF, those who are interested in taking over from him should unfold their manifesto ahead of the Benin election slated for October 30. In Ahmedu’s words…“Election time has come and you will continue to see worse things. At the end you will likely find out that they are politically motivated. I was with the D’Tigress in Cameroon and I know what transpired. Firstly, the Federation does not pay Training grants to Athletes. We know who does and it is MOS and NOC direct to the athletes. Secondly, the money donated by the banks that the girls talked about is still intact in the Ministry which has chosen to pay the girls directly. It never came near the NBBF. The Ministry has asked for individual account numbers for each player to be paid. Thirdly, yes, some players and Coaches are “owed” money by the President based on a personal promise he made to them in 2018 and 2019, but it is not because anyone took official money meant for them. I can state with authority that the team was sponsored to the Afrobasket they have just won in Cameroon entirely from the President’s pocket.
The money spent on the Cameroon competition from the Presidenr’s pocket is more than what one of the players said they were being owed which is about $73k. I do not support Athletes being owed any allowance or promise, but why now in an election period and is Instagram/ other Social media the best place to complain? The whole thing is meant to embarrass the President and hopes he loses the election. And we know where it is coming from. I have been called to leave Kida alone so that they will smear his name. That I am the one covering him. How? But this is Nigeria. Sad, very sad.” Meanwhile, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has denied allegations in a section of the media that its officials shared some monies donated to the men and women basketball teams ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The Ministry clarifies that all monies donated to the basketball teams are intact in the Nigeria Basketball Federation’s(NBBF) official account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN). The Ministry further states that all pre Olympic Games training camp allowances and Olympic Games allowances have been paid up to date and the Adopt- A- Sports donations totally Two Hundred and Thirty Thousand Dollars($230,000) are intact in the NBBF’s account. The Ministry states that outstanding payments due the teams will be made once the players supply the information required for the transfers to be effected by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Israel wants U-20 action for Nigeria
I mmensely talented Nigerian rising soccer star, Jerry Israel has declared that his immediate ambition is to lace boots for the country at the U-20 level. The teenager who had a stint with a Belarus club before retracing his steps back home where he is now warming up to lace boots for Kano Pillars said his desire is to wear the nation’s green white green jersey. “I m eligible to play at the U-20 level and prove my mettle at that level. I pray the coaches give me the opportunity to showcase my talent and do the country proud. I m working very hard to improve on my game because there is no alternative to hard work,” Israel said, even as he added that he would not hesitate to grab any opportunity that comes his way to play for Nigeria. The 18-year old natural left footer said he is quite aware that the country is blessed with several talents waiting in the wings insisting that he is not scared of the competition for jersey both at club and national team levels. “I know one has to be at his best to make it in the round leather game. I have the God given talent and I know that what is required of me is to work hard and have confidence in my abilities.
New Players Union unveiled in Lagos
A group of ex-internationals and former national league players came together in Lagos last Sunday to unveil a new players union aimed at charting a new cause in players’ representation and welfare in the country. Unveiling the union known as All Nigerian Players Union, leaders of the group, Chikelue Iloenyosi and Larry Okubanji said they’re not out to antagonise or compete with any group.but to usher in a new Dawn. “We’re not forming the union for any selfish interest or to rival any group. All we want to do is to change the narratives of how players union is suppose to operate. “You know in the past, we’ve had one players union or the other but some people use it for their own personal interest and a platform to antagonise the football house and that’s what we want to change. “Our union is going to partner with the NFF and other international football bodies,to ensure proper development of the country’s football as well as ensure that players welfare is given the necessary attention it deserves. “We’re also going to pursue vigourosly the issue of group life insurance and pension fund for players as is done in other climes so that when players retire from active football, they’ll have something to fall back on and start a new life,” they said. In his remarks at the occasion, President of Super Eagles Supporters Club, Prince Vincent Okumagba described them as committed patriots who should be trusted by all Nigerians with a promise that his organisation will work in harmony with them to improve the condition of ex~players. “I’m highly excited with the caliber of people who are behind this union. They’re committed patriots who’ve served this country and that’s why am happy to associate with them. “I know they have the capacity and capability to achieve their set goals and I appeal to all Nigerians to give them all the necessary support to succeed,” said the Super Eagles supporters club president. The well attended event have some ex~Internationals such as Julius Aghaghowa, Friday Ekpo and Monday Odiaka including many former national league players in attendance.