FUBA Faces Financial Limitations Ahead of the Afro basket Qualifiers

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By Kamyuka Kenneth

The Uganda men’s national basketball team, Silverbacks are set to be in action at the Afro basket Qualifiers slated for July while the Gazelles (women’s national team) have the Women’s Zone V Afro basket qualifiers due on 12th – 17th July 2021 in Kigali Rwanda.

Silverbacks are supposed to travel to Egypt for a camp on Thursday, 24th June while Gazelles are meant to enter a residential camp in Kampala but all activities are facing uncertainty due to financial constraints faced by local basketball governing body, FUBA.

“Silverbacks haven’t had any training locally here, we should have been in camp preparing for the qualifiers but because of the financial hardships, we haven’t had time to prepare,” FUBA President Nasser Sserunjogi told NTV Press box.

FUBA reportedly needs UGX1.27 billion to facilitate these activities.

Silverbacks’ games for the Afro basket February window (second and final window) held at Monastir, Tunisia were called off due to Covid-19 positive cases in their (Silverbacks) camp and now the pending Group E Uganda games, Uganda – Egypt, Morocco – Uganda and Cape Verde – Uganda, will be held next month.

“Our plan is to have a camp in Cairo (starting this weekend) for 10 days where foreign based players will link up with our local based players where the team can jell and prepare for the games,” Sserunjogi added.

Sserunjogi now hopes that the government through National Council of Sports (NCS) helps them financially for all national teams are their (government’s) responsibility, though there has been no positive response from NCS.

After a camp in Cairo, Silverbacks are expected to travel to Rabat on July 5th for a game against Morocco on 8th of July 2021. When Silverbacks win, they will qualify for the Afro basket finals.

When Silverbacks loses in Rabat, they will have another chance when they embark on a sojourn to Cape Verde and the two sides will clash on 15th July and if they (Silverbacks) triumph, they will then qualify for the Afro basket finals.

When Silverbacks loses for the second time, it will then go down to goal difference with Morocco needing a +8 win over Uganda while Cape Verde need a +6 win to come out on top of Uganda. Egypt has already qualified for the finals but the top three teams from each group and a wildcard will form the 16 teams that will qualify Afro basket finals.

“We really stand a high chance to qualify for the finals and we pray that the government comes through financially,” Sserunjogi energized. 

Silverbacks started their Afro basket Qualifiers in November last year in Alexandria, Egypt where they picked two wins in the first window and now, they can’t afford to pull out at the moment because they have already invested time and money and its important government comes to save them. The event is supposed to be held in Kigali, Rwanda from 24th August to 5th of September 2021.

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