With two weeks to the 2019 FIBA men’s basketball World Cup, Musa Adamu, general manager of D’Tigers has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to help the team attend the mundial in China.
Adamu while addressing journalists on Saturday in Lagos, regrettably admitted that the team which became the first country in the world to qualify may end up not participating at the World Cup if funds are not released on time by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
“I will like to use the forum to call on the President, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari to turn his eyes a little bit to the D’Tigers because they are also a national team,” Adamu said.
“We really hope that the President will try to help his children, his people and his own team to be able to participate in this World Cup through the sports ministry obviously.
“We are expecting support from him to release funds for our team to be able to participate in this World Cup.
“The federation is looking up to the Ministry with the hope that the funds will be released for us to leave.
“The team is here in Nigeria, so we hope that they will act because we don’t know when we will leave. There are no funds available for now.
“I cannot tell you exactly when the team is leaving for China, the basketball federation has been doing a lot for this team.”
The former Nigerian international revealed that despite plans to adequately prepare the team for the apex global sports fiesta, the unavailability of funds might just be the clog in the wheel of the team’s preparation.
“We started this elimination over a year ago and now going to two years and the federation has been funding the trips for each window,” he added.
“Each window, we had to bring players, fly them down, accommodate them and pay insurance.
“We have come a long way. We have a very good, ambitious and motivated team.
“All these things have been done singlehandedly by NBBF with a promise from the ministry to support us, but we are still expecting and hoping that they will do so before we leave for China.”
The 18th FIBA World Cup is scheduled to start on August 31 and end on September 15.
The tournament which will also act as qualification for the 2020 Olympics Games has Nigeria in group B alongside Russia, Argentina and South Korea.