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FUBA face financial constraints ahead of Afrobasket Qualifiers

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Silverbacks (white) in action during the first window of the Afrobasket qualifiers. FUBA Photo

Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations (FUBA) is facing financial constraints ahead of Afrobasket Qualifiers. The Uganda men’s national basketball team, Silverbacks are set to be in action at Afrobasket Qualifiers slated for July while the Gazelles (women’s national team) have the Women’s Zone V Afrobasket 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 Pressbox.

FUBA reportedly need UGX1.27 Billion to facilitate these activities.

Silverbacks’ games for the Afrobasket 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 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 July 8th. If Silverbacks win they will automatically qualify for the Afrobasket finals.

If Silverbacks lose 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 Afrobasket finals.

If Silverbacks lose again, 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 atop Uganda. Egypt is already qualified for the finals but the top three teams from each group and a wildcard will form the 16 teams that will qualify Afrobasket finals.

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

Silverbacks started their Afrobasket Qualifiers journey 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 it’s important government comes to their rescue.

The event proper, FIBA AfroBasket is scheduled to be held in Kigali, Rwanda from August 24 to September 5, 2021.

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