D’Tigress players have threatened that they will retire from the team if the allowances and fees owed them are not paid by the Nigerian Basketball Federation.
The team had earlier stated that they are not participating in the qualifiers and the World Championship next year.
The fight is principally driven by allowances of about $230,000 and other demands made by the team.
The three-time African Champions began the protest immediately after they beat Mali at the 2021 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket finals.
The dispute has generated reactions from stakeholders including the House Committee on Sports led by its chairman, Hon. Olumide Osoba.
Three of the team’s representatives made a fresh case for the Champions, saying that they are willing to retire from the team if their demands are not met.
Adaora Eleonu, one of the D’Tigress players said on Arise Tv that the players deserve better life, adding that playing for the team in the name of glory does not ‘foot their bills.’
She said, “We are sticking to the stand, we will not be participating in the world cup qualifiers in 2022 if those demands are not met. If we don’t get the demands that we have being paid, we will not be competing.
“Yes it will be [retiring from the basketball team sooner than expected]. This is not just for ourselves, we are hoping it will play out for generations to come, telling other girls who have watched us play, compete and be successful that maybe conditions should be better. We do not want them to go through what we went through.”
The allowance includes those owed to non-active D’Tigress players in 2018 and 2019.
Ify Ibekwe explained the breakdown of the whole money owed to the female team: $73,180 by the NBBF; $24,000 from the Tokyo grant and $100,000 from donations made by Nigerian banks.
Ibekwe noted that when other fees owed the players are included, the amount is ‘approaching $230,000.’
Ezinne Kalu, D’Tigress player said claims that the $73,180 allowance is not money owed to the team was false.
She called on the NBBF to hold former President Musa Kida accountable.
Kalu said, “I believe that statement is false, we haven’t received any money to our knowledge, Like we said the money that the Ministry of Sports owed us and the money that the NBBF owes us are separate monies and we are hoping that the Ministry of Sports can hold Musa Kida accountable for paying us.
“It just feel like we are taking granted of and we have raised the issue over and over again with the attempt to resolve the issue in house, but as seems as we are not getting the support we need from the people who are over us.”
The players have been accused of playing politics with the issue, as some have alleged they were approached to smear the campaigns of targeted persons in the Ministry.
“Nobody is controlling our team, our money has accumulated so much that we had to take a stand,” said Antoye Onyingifa.
Meanwhile, the House Committee on Sports on Thursday summoned former NBBF president, Engineer Musa Kida to appear before it within two weeks over questions regarding the money owed to D’Tigress.