28 February 2006

NIGERIA: Cartoon riots KO Vmobile basketball league

The wave of cartoon riots which swept across some cities in the country last week has forced the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) to postpone by one week the Vmobile league earlier scheduled to dunk off March 4, 2006.

According to Pius Ayinor, Media Officer for the NBBF, the board of the federation cited security concerns following the religious riots across the country to effect a change in date for the commencement as it could not guarantee the safety of players and officials who might be caught in the crossfire.

The new date, according to Ayinor, is now March 11, 2006 after a media interactive session on March 9 where details of the league that would run in two conferences, Savannah for the northern teams and Atlantic for those in the south shall be unfolded by both the NBBF and sponsors of the league, Vmobile.

Already participating clubs have met with the NBBF and Vmobile officials on March 7 and 8 but the dust raised by the clubs over the percentage of the sponsorship money of N35 million is yet to settle as the clubs are kicking against the 20 per cent allocated to them.

However the League Director, Muktar Khaleh speaking on a Brila radio programme yesterday said that a meeting is being arranged between the federation and the clubs to iron out areas of controversy to allow for a smooth take-of of the season on the new date.

Meanwhile the spokesman of the NBBF, Tijani Umar has said that the clubs have been given a deadline of March 1 to conclude their registration formalities. He was however silent on the sanction that awaits any erring club on this issue.
The 13-club league is made up of six clubs in the Atlantic Conference and seven in the Savannah Conference.

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