NOC: NBBF president’s argument was out of ignorance

Secretary-General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee Olabanji Oladapo has stated that the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by a further one year had become necessary and hence imminent following the formal announcement from the International Olympics Committee yesterday on the premise of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) has reacted to the contention by Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) that external factors were partly responsible for Nigerian teams’ early ouster from the Tokyo Olympics.

The NOC, in a statement on Monday in Lagos, signed by Phemmy Adetula, its Public Relations Officer (PRO), said the NBBF leadership only exhibited their ignorance with that submission.

“That assertion that both the NOC and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), by the reduction in the number of members of their teams’ technical crew at the Games, were part of the Nigerian teams’ problems at the Games was wrong.

“The IOC and the NOC will never in any capacity work against its subjects when it comes to the interpretation of the rules of the game,’’ the NOC said.

The NOC said the rules were clear about what to do from the onset, and the federations were duly informed at every step.

“Towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, a NOC Accreditation Manual was published in December 2019 and forwarded to every federation that qualified for the Tokyo Japan Games.

“Item 3 — Delegation Overview on the table of contents — stipulates the category quota calculation for each country’s delegation based on qualified athletes.

“For team sports, aside from football which falls in the class range of 15 – 19 qualified Athletes who are entitled to eight primary team officials.

“Basketball falls in the class range of 10 – 14″, and are entitled to five primary officials.

“That is a minimum of two and maximum three coaches (one of whom must be Head Coach), minimum of one Medical and other team delegation (administrative personnel) even in the case of NBBF, who continue to claim ignorance to the rules in spite of attending the last two editions of the Olympics,’’ it said.

The NOC further said that Ivanka Toteva, Sports and Eligibility Senior Manager of International Basketball Federation (FIBA), made it clear in her e-mail of July 9 to the NBBF.

“FIBA is responsible for the eligibility of the team delegation members where the FIBA internal regulations are in force.

“However, when it comes to the official team delegation and corresponding accreditations, the IOC Regulations are governing the Olympic Games.

“It is also under the authority of the NOC to determine the number of accreditations to a specific sport.

Therefore, you need to follow the NOC instructions and ask for additional accreditations as some of the team delegation functions (doctor, physiotherapist, etc.) are shared with other sports and the team management is part of the general sport management quota given to the NOC”.

It stated that there would never be a time under the watch of the Committee that anyone would work against the success of any team or federation “here at home or abroad’’.

“We are one big family working towards the common goal of taking our sports to the desired height. Positivity is our watchword and it’s key to the development of sports in Nigeria.

“If anyone is ignorant of the rules, failure should not be put at the door of the IOC or NOC when all stakeholders are aware of the situation which led to the D’Tigers’ losses at the Olympic Games and FIBA Afro-Basket Championship.’’

Newsmen report that Musa Kida, the NBBF president, had told newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday that technical crew members’ reduction hampered Nigerian teams at Tokyo 2020.

He had claimed that both the NOC and IOC gave a directive to reduce the number of officials from eight to three.

Kida had said this affected the Nigerian teams as they were not able to have a full complement of their technical crew officials.

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