Nigeria’s men’s senior basketball national team, D’Tigers’ coach, Alex Nwora has described as an insult to him and his players an allegation raised by Cameroon that the former African champions deliberately lost to Cote d’Ivoire last Friday.
Nwora is infuriated that the Cameroonians alleged after D’Tigers lost by a wide scoreline at the start of the last phase of this year’s FIBA World Cup qualifiers in Abidjan that Nwora and his wards aided the Ivoriens to pick a ticket, at the expense of Nigeria’s eastern neighbours.
The obviously infuriated basketball tactician stated further that he is thinking of the possibility of dragging Cameroon to court over the matter, which he says demeaned his status as a credible coach.
He stressed that his players are also professionals, who line out for some of the world’s best clubs and have seen action at some of the highest levels of the giants’ game, such that is unthinkable that they would do anything that could take the names into disrepute.
Nwora’s recant comes after D’Tigers fell 46-72 at Palaise des Sports, in their first loss of the campaign.
Cote d’ Ivoire went on to win their last three group games ensured their qualification for the World Cup, eliminating Cameroon in the process.
D’Tigers stormed back to beat Cameroon in their second game, but the losers felt Cote d’ Ivoire’s win over Nigeria must have been fixed.
In reaction, Nwora said he is considering legal action, because such an allegation brings D’tigers’ players, himself and Nigeria into ridicule.
Although Nwora acknowledged that Cameroon’s allegation was done out of frustration, he noted that it cannot be taken lightly by the Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA).
Nwora blasted: “If such is coming from Cameroon that is hypocrisy. That is an insult.
“These are professional players. How much are they going to pay us? Who will pay us to sell a game?
“I wanted to go undefeated, make history for my country. If anybody is trying to question my integrity, my country and people that I represent.
“This is the last time I want to hear that. If my name comes in, I will sue Cameroon or whoever does that.
“Do you know how much respect Nigeria has for Cameroon to insinuate that we came here to sell a game?
“They should not blame their stupidity on these kids and Nigeria because these guys are professional.”