Federation of Uganda Basketball Association has withdrawn the Gazelles from taking part in the upcoming FIBA Women Afrobasket Qualifiers.
The Gazelles, Uganda’s Women senior Basketball team, had confirmed participation for the Zone Five event due July 12-17 2021 in Kigali, Rwanda.
FUBA has cited Financial constraints for the unfortunate decision.
“This decision has been reached at after failing to get the much needed financial support from Government,” FUBA President Nasser Sserunjogi has stated in a statement.
The decision to withdraw comes as FUBA is still racing against time to fly out the Men’s team for the Afrobasket Qualifiers in Morocco.
FUBA needed around Sh220m to fund the trip to Rwanda but a recent plea to National Council of Sports was turned down.
FUBA wrote to NCS on June 2 asking for Sh1.2bn to cater for the Gazelles, Silverbacks and U16 team engagements.
NCS General Secretary Bernard Ogwel then said that Government’s priority is on preparing team Uganda for the upcoming Olympics games in Tokyo.
What The Withdrawal Means
For starters, by the fact that FUBA had confirmed participation means that they are braced for consequent fines from FIBA.
It is a big blow for the Girls as well who had already been summoned by Coach Nicholas Natuhereza.
The qualifiers in Rwanda were pathway for the Afrobasket finals which will take place in Cameroon on September 17-26.
Afrobasket is an equivalent of the Africa Cup of Nations to football.
The Uganda Women team has played at the Afrobasket only twice – In 1997 and 2015.
If Uganda managed to win in Rwanda, they would have qualified to Afrobasket where the top two teams get a ticket to one of the qualifying tournaments for the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.