By DOUG FEINBERG AP basketball writer
Las Vegas — Nneka Ogwumike and Elizabeth Williams will not appear in Nigeria at the Olympics after the Court of Arbitration for Sport dismisses the appeal.
WNBA players have given CAS a provisional allowance and asked them to add it to the Tokyo Olympics roster until the hearing takes place. They were informed last week by FIBA that their petition to play in an African country was rejected because they had been playing in the US national program for too long.
“FIBA acknowledges today’s decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to reject the request for interim measures,” the basketball organization posted on its website.
FIBA said the pair was not on the Nigerian roster submitted to the Tokyo Olympics.
Ogmic and her sisters have dual citizenship with the United States and Nigeria and believed they should be qualified to represent the country in Japan. Ogwumikes’ parents, Peter and Ify, were both born in Nigeria and came to the United States before their daughter was born.
Nigerian coach Otis Huley Jr. felt they should have been allowed to play. After the team lost to the United States on Sunday, he made a passionate plea to get them to play. Williams played in the exhibition game, but Ogmic and her sister Chinny didn’t. They were cheering on their teammates on the bench.
“Give them the opportunity to help the game grow,” Huley said. “The continent will be bowed for basketball. In a good way, you don’t know how many lives will be affected and will change over the years.”
Huley said he was concerned that the reason for FIBA’s refusal might come from other countries that think they have a chance to win a medal.
“They didn’t expect us to be in that position,” the coach said. “So it’s happening that no one is watching, no one is talking. It gets in the way of integrity. I’m going to catch up with the person doing it. It’s completely wrong. I’m FIBA I know that is better than that. I have been part of them for a long time. It’s a great organization. “
Chinai Ogmique was given the ability to play with Nigeria as a naturalized player. She asked CAS to change it to give her Nigerian status. This is the same as my sister Erica on the national list. This is because each country only allows one naturalized player.
CAS also denied the complaint. The CAS in Switzerland helps to facilitate the resolution of sports-related disputes through arbitration or mediation.
No African country has won the Olympics since Nigeria won 1-5 at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Nneka Ogwumike and Williams have agreed to play in Nigeria from USA Basketball. Players competing for the United States at major FIBA events after the age of 17 are usually not allowed to start playing in other countries.
Nneka Ogwumike competed with the United States in the 2018 World Cup, when Americans defeated Nigeria in the quarterfinals. She wanted to make a US roster in Tokyo, but she was removed from the team when it was announced. She was dealing with a knee injury she suffered earlier last month.
Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike won’t play for Nigeria at Tokyo Olympics after appeal rejected – Press Telegram Source link Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike won’t play for Nigeria at Tokyo Olympics after appeal rejected – Press Telegram