The Minister of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung has told the International Basketball Federation, FIBA that there were no crises in the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF.
Nneka Anibeze, a Special Assistant to the minister said Dalung made the remark during a fact finding visit of three FIBA officials to his office on Monday in Abuja.
Anibeze quoted the ministry as saying; "the position of government is that there is no crisis in Basketball. We only heard and read in the papers of allegations against government of interference in basketball elections.
"Can a spectator take a shot from outside the field and the referee records it as a goal? Tijani Umar did not register to contest or obtain an election form and therefore could not have contested for the Presidential post. If he obtained election form, then he could have gone to the Appeals Committee to register his grievances but he couldn’t appeal because he didn’t even buy a form, therefore he wasn’t even eligible to protest."
He said the Minister told the three-man delegation including the FIBA Executive Director Africa -Dr Alphonse Bile, Special Advisor to FIBA Secretary General- Mr Lubomir Kotleba and FIBA Competition Commission member – Fode Amara Conde, that Tijani Umar was a government nominee for 8 years and never complained of government interference until government decided to have democratically elected federations devoid of government nominees.
The Minister also thanked FIBA for their assistance to Nigeria through funding, grants and training.
He however, added that Dalung also appealed to FIBA to support Nigeria in the development and training of coaches and officials which he said is very significant to sports development.