FUBA to Refund FIBA’s Expenses on Silverbacks During World Cup Qualifiers

The Federation of Uganda’s Basketball Associations-FUBA has to refund all the money spent by the Federation of the International Basketball Associations-FIBA on the Silverbacks, during their participation in the final round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup African Qualifiers in Angola. 

Hudson Ssegamwenge, the FUBA Vice President in charge of administration, says that they budgeted at least Shillings 400 million to cover the expenses for the team’s preparation and facilitate the travel of at least 30 individuals, comprising players and technical officials but didnt get any financial support from the government.

He says that were compelled to disclose their predicament to FIBA, which bailed them out with tickets. However, only 9 players and 3 officials were able to make the trip. According to Ssegamwenge, they received the tickets only three hours before their flight, leaving no time to communicate with foreign-based players. 

According to Segamwenge, each player and technical official was charged US$90 for each of the three days they stayed in Angola for the games as well as their air tickets to and from Angola, which the local basketball governing body must pay back to FIBA.  

This is not the first time, the basketball team is struggling with funding while representing Uganda on the world stage. During the Afro Basket games in Kigali, the silverbacks spent their tournament operating on credit.

It took the intervention of the first son General Muhoozi Kainerugaba to plead with the Education and Sports Minister to help the team clear the bill.  Asked whether there are any plans by FUBA to end this, Ssegamwenge said their only job is to present the team and the facilitation of the team is the job of the government.

Meanwhile, amidst a lack of preparations, the silverbacks were yet again hit with a jersey scandal in their second game of the tournament against Côte d’Ivoire. Three players including the captain Jimmy Enabu, Fayed Baale, and Rogers Dauna were forced to watch the game from the sides because their jersey numbers were not available in the home jerseys the Silverbacks were supposed to use against Côte d’Ivoire.

During their first game against Angola, where the team wore their white away jerseys, some jerseys were unlabeled. The team decided to use markers to label the numbers nine, fifteen, and sixteen the three players had their numbers available.

Enabu wore number five, Baale wore number three, and Dauna wore number eight.  However, in the second game where they faced Côte d’Ivoire in their home kit, which is red in color, it was discovered that the numbers carried in the red jersey were not corresponding with the ones that they used in the white jersey, for starters numbers 5, 3 and 8 were not available.    

Yet, according to FIBA rules, a player is not allowed to change their jersey number in the tournament. This forced the three players to watch the games from the sides.

Ssegamwenge told URN that because the team was in hurry, the person who was supposed to organize the jerseys packed nine jerseys both red and white, unfortunately, the numbers were not matching. “The person who was supposed to arrange the jerseys picked nine jerseys because we were in a hurry but the numbers were not corresponding” Ssegamwenge.     

The national basketball team, the Silverbacks, ended their arduous stay in Angola on Sunday with a crushing 47-88 loss to Guinea in their final game of the tournament.  

The Silverbacks suffered defeats against Angola (49-82) and Cote d’Ivoire (89-44) in the other two games. The poor run can easily be attributed to the lack of preparations by the team for the games and the fact that FUBA had actually given up on that trip a day before the team’s travel to Angola after failing to secure funding from the National Council of Sports 

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