The reasons the Spanish Embassy denied Nigeria's U-17 women basketball team entry visas to travel and feature at the 2016 FIBA World U-17 Women's Basketball Tournament in Zaragoza have been revealed, Completesportsnigeria.com
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIC, while denying masterminding the embarrassing incident, said through a release on Wednesday that it contacted the Spanish Embassy to investigate the rumours joining the agency in the saga. According to NAPTIC, the Spanish Embassy, while exonerating NAPTIC revealed that the Nigerian Basketball Federation's undoings actually marred its visa application for the national team.
A belated visa application submitted by the NBBF was full of irregularities, and signed by a dead person! That's what NAPTIC claimed the Spanish Embassy revealed to it.
Below is the full text of the release published by NAPTIC on its website on Wednesday, June 22 2016..
NAPTIC HAS NO HAND IN THE DENIAL OF SPANISH VISA TO THE NATIONAL U17 BASKETBALL TEAM
The attention of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has been drawn to the news indicating that the Nigerian National Under- 17 Basketball Women team billed to participant in the FIBA Under- 17 World Championship in Zaragoza, Spain have been denied visa by the Spanish Embassy based on a letter from the Agency.
We deny this report in entirely. NAPTIP never wrote to the Spanish embassy or anybody at all on this matter.
It is true that the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF) through a letter signed by its Secretary- General, Okeke Patrick wrote a letter to the Agency seeking assistance for the team. Calls were made to the Secretary -General to visit the Agency to clarify the type of assistance needed. He said he will not be able to come but that he will send his deputy. Till today, nobody came from NBBF on the matter and there was no basis to write to anybody or Embassy on it.
When the news broke a while ago, my Ag. Director-General, Alhaji Abdulrazak Dangiri and I called the Embassy of Spain in Abuja to confirm the information and we were pointedly told that NAPTIP HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE VISA DENIAL. We were also informed that the visa application was denied based on three issues:
i. The application was full of irregularities;
ii. The application came late and;
iii. The person who signed the application was late and couldn’t have signed such an application.
It is important that the Basketball federation informs the nation the true position of this matter and not look for anybody to put the blame on.
This is the true position.
Head, Press and Public Relations (NAPTIP)