24.10.2001 Sports News

Re-Organisation of Associations Long Overdue - Gamal

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Mr Iddrissu Gamal, a basketball resource person, has described a call for the re-organisation of the "lesser known sports" associations as long overdue.

He said the absence of this is compounding the problems of the such associations.

Speaking to the GNA Sports on Tuesday, Mr Gamal who is the only Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA) referee in the country, said those who believe the changes might affect them are dragging their feet.

He therefore called on the authorities to speed things up to save the associations from collapsing.

Mr Gamal also called for the rejuvenation of the various associations, with comprehensive programmes that would make them more efficient; especially basketball, which, he said, has completely gone dormant.

He said basketball is now being supported by private individuals, adding that, the last time it received sponsorship from the National Sports Council was two years ago.

"There is no initiative to sponsor lesser known sports and we demand that resources are given to us to run the game.'

Mr Gamal described basketball as an indoor game, which requires less money to provide structures for it.

He regretted that, the whole country has no gymnasium, saying one million dollars could put up a modest 3000 capacity gymnasium, which would not only serve basketball but other disciplines as well.

He said the basketball court at the stadium was destroyed during the last stadium renovation exercise and this has stopped the youth from coming to train.

Alhaji Peregrino Braimah, head coach of the senior basketball team and one time basketball star in Nigeria, said basketball is far lagging behind as compared to the other disciplines of sports.

He decried the poor organisation of the basketball league season, which he said makes it less competitive.

"The league is not well organised, I never expect basketball to be played for only one round and the champion declared.'

He described as unfortunate the situation where one person does the league fixtures without any consultation and also declares the league champion in the end.

Alhaji Braimah suggested that the league be played for two rounds and the best six clubs selected for a championship competition.

He said if this suggestion is implemented, the league would be more competitive to attract sponsors.

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