EXPOSED: How Nigerian Officials Diverted $100,000 Meant For Women Basketball Team, D'Tigress, Owe Each Player $4,900 Allowances - GIST NOWNOW
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EXPOSED: How Nigerian Officials Diverted $100,000 Meant For Women Basketball Team, D’Tigress, Owe Each Player $4,900 Allowances

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Officials of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development have been accused of failing to distribute $100,000 (N41.1million) allowances donated by three banks to Nigeria’s women basketball team for their Tokyo 2020 Olympic participation.

Speaking with SaharaReporters, a member of the senior women basketball team, D’Tigress, revealed that their allowances, bonuses, training grant worth $4,900 had also not been paid.



She added that none of the D’Tigress team members would show up in camp in preparation for the February 2022 FIBA World Cup if the Nigerian government failed to pay them.

She said, “The last time we checked, some of our allowances, bonuses and training grants have not been paid. All our accounts numbers have been submitted but still no remittance. Donations made by banks for players, officials, volunteer stipends etc. dating all the way back to 2018 but I will let the managers address the vendor/contractor’s situation.

“They forget we all have a relationship and do communicate; $500 each 2018 FIBA World Cup for players and officials; $1,000 each for finishing final 8 in FIBA World Cup; $1,000 each bonus for winning AfroBasket in Senegal for 2019 players and officials.

“$300 – $400 each Mozambique Olympic Qualifier allowance balance, were supposed to be paid $100 per day; $2,000 each training grant balance from Tokyo Olympics, players only. The $100,000 donated by three Nigerian banks to all the players and officials that made D’Tigress Olympics qualification possible final roster. The men also got $100,000 assigned to them, the total was $200,000.

“Miscellaneous expenses by players and officials; the full breakdown has been submitted to the outgoing Basket Ball President and the honourable minister, Sunday Dare.

“With all due respect to the association leadership, the Presidency, the Ministry and NBBF administration old and new, if these monies are not paid before the next qualifier of the next tournament in February 2022, FIBA World Cup, the entire D’Tigress team will not show up in camp. We are all saying this as one unit and one voice.”

On the poor outing of the team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic, she said, “Whoever watched the Olympics games and knows Nigerian Basketball could see that something was wrong. We didn’t play our best because we weren’t treated or given the best during one of the greatest stages and moments of an Athletes career.

“Yes, we had some injuries, could have executed better but there were a lot of distractions around us like; Not knowing who we have available on the team. Not having enough practice time with each other to build cohesiveness.

“Our head coach did not prioritize adequate preparation nor trust his staff enough to delegate significant responsibility. Poor decision by the outgoing President Musa Kida, he avoided the D’Tigress in camp because we inquired about our money amongst other basic things, when he made it to the U.S, he bypassed us in Atlanta to Vegas to support the men’s team. He did not support us with any leadership personnel.

“I believe each player that has been a part of D’Tigress since 2017 has their own thoughts and feelings about the dissolved NBBF Board and coaching staff over the course of the time. It is evident that our voices haven’t been heard, our request for little things ignored, we are not being celebrated and recognized as this team deserves, instead allowances and bonuses are being owed by the NBBF and Ministry.

“Once again, not having a General Manager (GM) on the team created unwanted disorder. This was the icing on the cake for all players with the emotional buildup over the years. We knew all we could do is stick together, try to stay positive and enjoy the Olympics the best that we could. As a team, we know if we were well prepared to play in the Olympics, that there would be no doubt we could have advanced out of our bracket. To our loyal Fans that has been by our side, we appreciate you all.”



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BREAKING: Lionel Messi Wins 2021 Ballon d’Or

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Argentine footballer, Lionel Messi, has won the 2021 Ballon d’Or — the award for the best soccer player on the planet within a particular year.

Messi defeated closest rival, Robert Lewandoski to win the prize for a record seventh time.



The former Barcelona superstar, who moved to Paris Saint Germain earlier this year, won the award after leading Argentina to the Copa America title.

The star-studded event, which was held at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris, France, on Monday evening, saw Italian and Chelsea of London midfielder, Jorginho, emerging third on the log.

Messi now has two more Ballon d’Or award than Cristiano Ronaldo, who finished a distant sixth in this year’s contest.



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Nigerian Journalist Asks Liverpool Coach, Klopp To Apologise For Calling African Competition ‘Little Tournament’

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A Nigerian journalist, Babatunde Ojora has asked Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp to apologise for regarding the African Cup of Nations as a little tournament.

The Liverpool manager, following his side’s 2-0 win against Porto, was called up on what he said on Saturday when he described the Africa Cup of Nations a ‘little tournament’ while talking about international breaks. 



But Ojoro who works with OJB Sports demanded an apology and believed Klopp would never say a ‘little tournament in Europe’

“Hi Jurgen, during your last pre-match presser, you deliberately called the Africa Cup of Nations a “little tournament”.

“I think it’s an insult to the players, an insult to the fans, an insult to the people on the continent and I think you owe the continent an apology,” he told the coach.

A taken aback Klopp replied, “I didn’t mean it like that, come on,” Klopp said. “So I was not even close to it being the idea in my mind that I want to talk about the African Cup of Nations as a ‘little tournament’ or the continent of Africa as a little continent, not at all.

“What I meant was, if you watch the whole press conference then you might have understood it the right way if you wanted to, because I said there are no international breaks until March now.

“‘I said ‘oh there’s a little tournament in January’ and I didn’t mean a little tournament, I was just saying it’s still a tournament, it’s ironic. It’s still a tournament, a big one. We lose our best players to that tournament…”

The journalist retorted and said, “But you wouldn’t say that in Europe, you wouldn’t say a ‘little tournament in Europe…'”

“I am not a native speaker but if you want to understand me wrong, you can do that all the time,” Klopp replied.

“I know that I would never think like this. I don’t understand why you thought this to be honest, but that’s really not OK as I would never do that. But that is it now.”



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Real Madrid Striker, Benzema Bags One-Year Jail Term Over Sex Tape

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France and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema, was sentenced to a one-year suspended jail term on Wednesday. 

He was found guilty of complicity in the attempted blackmail of a former international teammate over a sex tape.



The Versailles court also fined him €75,000 ($84,170) and ordered him to pay former teammate, Mathieu Valbuena €80,000 to cover legal costs and €150,000 in damages together with his three other co-accused.

However, Benzema’s lawyer has vowed to appeal against the verdict.

Benzema, who had denied any wrongdoing, was not in court. He is due to play for Real Madrid against Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol later in the day.

“This outcome in no way corresponds with the reality of events,” lawyer Antoine Vey told reporters afterwards.

Earlier this month, President of the French Football Federation, Noel Le Graet, said Benzema would not be excluded from the national team if he was convicted and given the suspended sentence prosecutors wanted.

“The coach will always be responsible for his selection and Benzema will not be left out because of an eventual judicial sanction,” Le Graet told Le Parisien.

Prosecutors had argued that Benzema had encouraged Valbuena to pay a suspected group of blackmailers to keep the sexually explicit tape out of the public eye.

They said Valbuena got the first of several phone calls threatening to reveal the tape in June 2015.

Valbuena had told the court it was clear the caller wanted money and that the blackmail attempt left him scared for his career and place in the national squad.

The Real Madrid striker was recruited by the alleged blackmailers to encourage Valbuena to pay as his teammate stalled, the prosecution had added.

The French footballer had shown no goodwill to Valbuena and pretended to have his best interests at heart, the judges said in their written ruling.

Benzema had “deliberately helped the authors of the attempted blackmail of Valbuena,” they added.

Both Benzema and Valbuena lost their places in the national team in the wake of the scandal, dubbed the “sex tape affair.”

Benzema, 33, who has played more than 90 times for his country, was recalled to the France squad for this year’s European Championship.

Among Benzema’s co-defendants were childhood friend Karim Zenati, who acted as an intermediary, and Mustapha Zouaoui, one of the suspected architects of the scam.

All four defendants were found guilty in connection with the attempted blackmail.



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