A member of the Musa Kida-led Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) faction, Samuel Ahmedu, has downplayed the ongoing Kwese Basketball Premier League organised by the Tijani Umar-led faction by describing it as “just an invitational tournament”.
The federation had earlier sealed the highest sponsorship deal in the Nigerian Sports Sector (five-year $12m deal) with Kwese in April 2017 to sponsor the league just before double NBBF elections tore the federation into two factions.
The Musa Kida-led faction has been in constant conversation with world’s basketball governing body, FIBA, according to the decision made by the global body last year and it is adamant that the Kwese deal is with the NBBF rather than with the Tijani Umar-led faction who were in charge when the deal was struck.
The Savannah and Atlantic conferences dunked off in Kaduna and Lagos respectively on Sunday as clubs went against the persistent warnings made by the Musa Kida-led faction that participating clubs will losing their Premier League status.
Ahmedu while downplaying the recently dunked off league via Punch said: “There’s no Premier League going on at the moment, what’s going on is just an invitational tournament. The Premier League is owned by the NBBF even though those organising the invitational are using the NBBF logo and identity.”
“Kwese had a deal with NBBF under Umar; it’s not his personal contract but that of the federation. They can go ahead with their competition, nobody can stop them but as far as we are concerned, it’s an invitational tournament. The winners can’t represent Nigeria at continental level.” he added.
On possible punishment to clubs, he said: “When we get to the bridge, we will cross it. We don’t want to talk about punishment.”
“When we start the Premier League, any of these clubs that qualify to play would be allowed to play. People say we should ban them. Why should we? They want us to fight so that they can say, ‘NBBF factions are fighting again.” he concluded.