The Nigeria Basketball Federation has affirmed that qualification for the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket Men’s tournament is non-negotiable.
NBBF president Musa Kida laid out the Federation’s goals on Tuesday as preparations heat up for the next window of the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket qualifiers to be hosted in Rwanda and Egypt.
With basketball gradually returning following the disruption to the global sports calendar due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NBBF has set its sight on a successful Afrobasket qualifiers campaign.
Kida said the Federation has started earnest preparations to ensure that the D’Tigers, who have already booked a place at next year’s Tokyo Olympics, qualify for a 28th Afrobasket tournament.
“We are not unaware of the huge task before us to ensure another seamless qualification for Afrobasket. We know that millions of Nigerians are expecting us to qualify without drama and that is exactly what we are working towards.”
Currently ranked 26th globally and 1st in Africa, Nigeria is grouped alongside hosts Rwanda, Mali and Algeria in Group D
Kida stressed the importance of beginning training camp and preparations early enough so D’Tigers can be adequately prepared ahead of their trip to Rwanda.
“No more minnows in African basketball. All the teams in our group deserve to be there and they deserve our respect. We need to prepare early and adequately to live up to pre-tournament ratings by pundits.
“We cannot afford to let our fans down. They are already looking beyond the qualification series between 27th-29th, November and 19th-21st, February, 2021.”
Nigeria will start her race for qualification when they meet Algeria on Friday, 27th of November before taking on the host on Saturday.
D’Tigers will conclude its first round of qualification campaign against West African opposition, Mali on Sunday.
The top 3 teams in each group will qualify for the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket tournament taking place in Kigali, Rwanda between 24 August and 5 September.