President Yoweri Museveni while addressing the nation on Sunday night in regard to the Covid-19 pandemic especially on the way forward to reopen more aspects of the economy among others reinstated sports activities, but only open air activities and without fans/spectators.
Sports activities have been on a halt since 18 March this year when the government declared a state wide partial lockdown following a pandemic scare then.
After reinstation of competitive play, local basketball governing body Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations (FUBA) is worried on how they will get back on court because of the tough and costly terms sorounding sports return.
The key aspect sorounding sports return is; testing players for Covid-19 72 hours before the event/game. This test will expire in 14 days. Hence, the Sportsmen will have to repeat the test every fortnight.
With government having introduced a 240,000 Shillings testing fee recently, the basketball fraternity, just like their colleagues are worried about how they will survive in the post-lockdown age.
“For basketball to resume, it will depend on whether the teams can afford to pay for tests or not,” FUBA President Nasser Sserunjogi noted in one of the sports TV shows.
“Testing is a must for our safety but how many clubs can afford that? Clubs struggle a lot and many do not even have sponsors. For me I see this (sports resumption) as giving you something with one hand and taking it back with the other,” a worried Sserunjogi said adding that government should over free testing services to the teams.
Basketball is mainly an indoor sport but the recent regulations on sports resumption indicate that only open air activities will be allowed. Therefore, in the near future basketball will have to be played at YMCA, KIU outdoor courts and to some extent in UCU, Mukono.
“I don’t understand the logic behind testing if we can’t play indoors; for me it doesn’t make sense at all,” Sserunjogi noted adding that quarantining players during tournaments will be very costly.
According to Sserunjogi, FUBA will meet with its members very soon in regard to the matter.
However, the domestic leagues will return in March next year. This league was cancelled and didn’t even tipoff.
Going forward, FUBA is likely to organize tournaments to engage its players and fans with some basketball activity for the year 2020.