Afrobasket 2025 qualifiers: Peter Obi laments D’Tigers withdrawal due to lack of funds

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Leading opposition figure, Peter Obi has lamented the withdrawal of Nigeria’s senior men’s national basketball team, D’Tigers, from the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Afrobasket 2025 Qualifiers due to lack of funds.

D’Tigers had been drawn in Group B with Uganda, Cape Verde and Libya in the first window of the qualifiers which will hold in Tunisia, with the Nigerian team scheduled to begin the qualifiers on Saturday, February 23, against Libya.

However, D’Tigers confirmed the team’s withdrawal from the qualifiers in an X post on Thursday.

Reacting in an X post on Friday, Obi said the team’s withdrawal was unfortunate and distressin.

“Presently many countries are investing in sports as a means of gainful employment for their youths, a source of revenue for their government, and foreign exchange repatriation into their countries from those who are playing overseas, and Nigeria should be striving for a similar situation.

“Sports has become one of the productive sectors of economic development and growth of nations.

“It therefore remains an integral part of moving the nation from consumption to production. Instead of sponsoring political thugs who contribute to the breakdown of law and order in society, such funds should be channeled toward helping our youths discover and nourish their sporting skills.

“In a very diverse nation like Nigeria, where sports has not only remained a critical part of our unity but is also a huge source of youth empowerment, investment in sports remains critical. Therefore, attention should be paid to the needs of all sporting endeavours.

“I urge the Federal Government, the Federal Ministry Of Youth And Sports Development, and other relevant agencies to expedite actions and urgently resolve this issue to enable our national basketball team, D’Tigers, to participate in the competition and be motivated to bring us victory,” Obi said.

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