Tackling Government Interference In Sport: The River Hoopers Nigerian Basketball Case
In January 2022, Nigerian basketball champions, Rivers Hoopers, were prohibited from competing in the Basketball Africa League by world governing body, FIBA, due to government interference in the running of the Nigerian Basketball Federation. It is yet another example of an International Sports Federation (IF) imposing sanctions against a National Sports Federation (NSF) for breaching regulations prohibiting third party influence.
In the light of this latest incident, this article examines:
- How National Sport Federations are structured in Nigeria;
- Why Rivers Hoopers were barred from the Basketball Africa League; and
- How IFs can address the root cause of government interference.
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Partner, SportHouse LP
Kelvin specializes in sport governance. His experience includes working with football regulatory bodies in Nigeria on compliance and regulatory issues, as well as membership of the Disciplinary Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation. Kelvin has a masters degree in sports law from Nottingham Trent University and his previous legal practice experience has involved working in both the private and public sectors - with private law firms and as a State counsel. A keen footballer, Kelvin can often be found on the field with Ibusa Football Club, which he founded and named after his hometown.