Nigeria withdraws from African U18 sports tornament

Sports is one activity that unifies Nigerians from all works of life.

Recently, the Minister for Sports, Solomon Dalung, raised alarm over Rio Olympic football squad.

“The list of the players for Rio is very different from the one who qualified the country for the games,” Dalung lamented.

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“It seems our local coaches cannot grow above parochial sentiments.”

Recall that only 10 players from the squad who won the U23 AFCON in Senegal in December are on the provisional 35-man for the Olympics with the possibility some of not making the final 18-man Rio squad.

Following the controversy of Rio Olympics football squad, the Nigeria Basketball Federation withdrew from the FIBA Africa Zone Three U-18 Championship for boys and girls.

The event was scheduled to hold from July 2 to 9 in Cotonou, Republic of Benin.

The Basketball competition is the qualifiers for the FIBA Africa U-18 championship planned for Rwanda in October this year.

The winners and runners-up in Rwanda will thereafter represent Africa at the 2017 World U-19 Championships for men and women.

FIBA Africa Zone 3 was informed of Nigeria’s withdrawal via an email. The Nigerian sports ministry cited no reason the sudden withdrawal.

According to FIBA Africa Zone 3 president, Col Sam Ahmedu, “It is indeed a sad development that Nigeria, which is one of the top countries in the zone is withdrawing at the eleventh hour for a tournament it registered for over four months ago.

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“This will no doubt take some shine off the championship.

“Coming on the heels of the recent visa imbroglio which denied the national U-17 girls team travelling to Spain for the world championship.

“It means that our Nigerian youths will not be participating in any international tournament this year.”