2020 Tokyo Olympics: Kida Lauds Sports Minister’s Support
By Lekan Sowande, Abuja.
The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) Caretaker Committee Chairman, Ahmadu Musa Kida, has expressed appreciation to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare for the supportive role he played during the Tokyo Olympics Games.
Kida who spoke in Abuja said the Minister worked assiduously to ensure that the lapses created on the Nigeria Basketball teams by the International Olympic Committee through the Nigeria Olympic Committee were corrected
The NBBF boss said with the incident that happened at the Olympics, both the IOC and NOC can be accused of tactically sabotaging the efforts of the Nigeria Basketball teams from getting to the podium at the games.
“I commend the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Chief Sunday Dare on his role in ensuring that the Basketball teams have a full complement of their officials at the Olympics games in Tokyo,” Kida said.
The Chairman further described the wrong instruction given to the Nigeria Basketball Federation by the International Olympic Committee through National Olympic Committee (NOC) before the event as assumed sabotage that became a cog in the wheel of acceleration of Nigeria teams at the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo.
“We were always entitled to a full complement of our officials in the Games, but after our preparations, and getting to the Olympic proper, the NOC came with the directive that we are only entitled to only 3 officials which included only two technical officials,” Kida added.
“I was very sad to understand that they are only going to allow three of our technical officials, instead of the eight or nine which we are already used to. This actually affected the team immensely and cost us the first two games.”
“We became more suspicious when the games began, we discovered that other countries were carrying full complements of their coaches and officials, even countries that do no have as many athletes as we did,” Kida said.
“From there, the players became demoralized no doubt, as they could not have their coaches that could be giving them the needed technical talks. What NBBF did though, was to make sure that everybody was on ground. That hurt us so badly, no doubt about it.”
“We interrogated the Basketball governing body FIBA who actually claimed ignorance on why such an instruction came from the IOC at the Olympics. It was the same situation for the men and the women teams.”
“Seeing the situation on ground, the Minister rallied round to see that there was an increase in the number of our officials for the team. The Minister really helped us in all out by ensuring that we had an increase in the number of officials, by then, we had lost the first two matches at the Olympics.”
“It was through the efforts of the Minister that the camp was finalized without any issue . This was enough boost for us, we can’t thank the Minister enough. Nigerians should be proud of us, for us to go to the Olympics.”
“There were many basketball nations that could not make it but as for Nigeria, both Men and Women teams participated. I take pride in that and I would like us to build on that, and want Nigerians to Commend the Minister for his support,” Kida concluded.