‘D’Tigers, D’Tigress need $4m for Tokyo Olympics’ – NBBF

NEWSMAN – Nigeria Basketball Federation has said men and women’s basketball teams will need $4m to prepare and compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The NBBF entered the history books as they become the first African basketball body to steer their two national teams to the Olympics, but the federation now has a huge task to seek corporate sponsorship to fund both squads at the world’s sports showpiece in Japan next year.

Vice President of the NBBF, Babatunde Ogunade, said the proposed budget would cover the D’Tigers’, the men’s national team and African women’s champions D’Tigress.

Ogunade, a FIBA Hall of Famer, said “The NBBF board is elated that both D’Tigers and D’Tigress qualified for the Olympics, proudly a first by any African country, but there is the huge burden of funding for the teams. The federation needs an estimated N2bn, that’s about $4m, to prosecute the Olympics in Tokyo.”

“We feel the budget should not be left all alone for the ministry of Youths and Sports Development to bear. The budget will include, but not limited to flight tickets, stipends, allowances as well as match bonuses. There are also plans for pre-camp and during camp travels for friendly matches for both teams. These trips will impact heavily on the budget,” he added.

According to newsmen the biggest obstacle before the NBBF is the number of top-class players both teams had attracted from the NBA, WNBA and top leagues across Europe ahead of Olympics camping, PUNCH reported.

However, the NBA insists the least their players can fly is Business Class, but with about 10 players coming from the NBA alone, the NBBF is faced with the tough challenge of buying Business Class tickets for non-NBA players as well, in an effort to ensure team unity.

This will also apply to D’Tigress players as well, it was further learnt.

Ogunade further added that “The federation has gotten the assurances of the players, but on our part, we need to also meet their basic needs.”

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