Alex Nwora, the head coach of Nigeria’s senior men’s basketball team, has expressed fears that the sports ministry’s delay in releasing funds ahead of the teams participation at the 2019 FIBA Basketball world cup in China could adversely affect their performance at the event as well as their zeal in playing for the country.
Nwora who was appointed in 2017, led D’Tigers to become the first team from Africa to qualify for the 32-team tournament 13 years from their last appearance.
However, with just a fortnight to the commencement of the tournament and Nigeria’s primal game against Russia, the US based coach told media personnel that he is uncertain about his teams travelling to China as the ministry is yet to release funds for the team.
He also stated that the funds used to facilitate the teams training camps and friendly matches had all come from the personal coffers of Musa Kids, the president of the Nigeria Basketball Federation.
“Unfortunately, as of now, we’ve run into a stumbling block because of funding. I think everything has been coming from one source which is Engineer Musa Kida”, Nwora disclosed at the team’s open training session at the indoor sports Hall of the National Stadium in Lagos.
Speaking further, he stated that since the commencement of his job as the teams coach, he is not aware of any disbursement of funds from the ministry and as at the time of speaking, he did not know when they were going to travel.
With the quality of talent available to the country, many basketball fans have expressed great hopes in Nigeria’s performance at the tournament.
It should be noted that Nigeria is placed in Group B alongside Argentina, Russia and Korea and is slated to start their World Cup campaign against Russia on Saturday,31st August in Wuhan.