D’Tigress point guard, Ezinne Kalu, has hinted that she will retire from the national team due to their withdrawal from the 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup in Australia.
The quadrennial tournament is billed to take place from September 22 to October 1 in Sydney but the Nigerian team will play no part in the 12-nation tournament despite having qualified for the competition.
The withdrawal is as a result of internal wrangling between the Nigeria Basketball Federation and the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
FIBA on Thursday in a statement confirmed the withdrawal of the Nigerian team from the countries billed to participate at the 12 nation tournament in Sydney from September 22 to October 1.
The world basketball ruling body replaced the African champions with Mali.
The statement in part read, “Given the multiple strict deadlines that cannot be postponed in order to ensure the successful staging of a major international event (visa procedures, schedules, ticket sales, accommodations, friendly games, preliminary rosters, flight tickets, accreditations, etc.) and to protect the integrity of the competition, the FIBA Executive Committee has decided as follows:
“Nigeria’s withdrawal from the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 is confirmed
“Mali, as the next ranked team from Group B of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, is invited to participate in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022.”
Reacting to the news, a disappointed Kalu hinted that she may not play for the country again, “I mean wow. I don’t think I will ever wear the green and white again,” Kalu tweeted.