The State Minister for Sports Denis Hamson Obua has blamed Basketball Governing body in Uganda, FUBA, for the ongoing financial challenges faced by the Silverbacks.
The National Basketball team’s appearance at the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers first window has been hanging on a thread after FUBA confirmed that they failed to secure funds from Government.
In an interview, Hon Obua says that its failing to plan plan by FUBA that has made the Silverbacks situation reach this stage.
Obua said that FUBA submitted their requisition late – actually a day before the team’s set date for departure to be exact.
The ongoing situation is very reminiscent to events prior to the Silverbacks appearance at the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket in Kigali, Rwanda while the Gazelles (Women basketball team) was withdrawn from the Women Afrobasket Qualifiers in June.
Obua started: “The fundamental question in my own opinion is why always Basketball?. why now not then?”
“The calendar of the different Sporting Disciplines is normally known in advance by respective Federarions, at least you expect the International Federations to let you know that come this time, say in 2022, we shall have World Cup Qualifiers for this game.. and it all goes back to proper planning.”
“The Office of the Minister of State Education and Sports in charge of Sports received the official letter for requsitioning for support to the Silverbacks on the 22nd of November 2021; and the team, according to the letter, should travel latest on November 23 2021.
“In terms of planning, you are submitting a plan for the National team to travel on 22nd, you expect Government to look for money on latest 23rd. That means that the team should travel on the day that the requisition is received. On the Requisition, there is no contingent (the list of those travelling) is not attached. Really? Would you blame the Ministry? would you blame the National Council of Sports? a question would be asked that if the Basketball Federation of Uganda (FUBA) knew in advance that team Uganda should be assembled and prepared and train, why would then the President of FUBA submit a requisition to the Minister on the 22nd and the team is expected to travel latest the following day without a list attached to it.
Obua continued: “We have always told Federations that the moment you receive advances from consolidated fund, the account regulations are clear before you are advanced more money, you are supposed to file in your accountability.”
“Now the accountability of funding recieved by the Basketball Federation more than three months ago, was again found on the very date they submitted their requisition on travelling to Angola for the World Cup Qualifiers. Why basketball? and why now? there must be something fundamentally wrong in terms of planning. There is a common saying that ‘Lack of planning on your side should not constitute an emergence on others’.”
Obua was also puzzled to see that FUBA released the statement to confirm the Silverbacks withdrawal from the Qualifiers yet they are the ones who made late submissions.
“As we are consulting, the same person who was requesting Government to consider sending a team, is releasing a press statement saying that we have withdrawn from the tournament – Look at the contradictions, look at the dilemma. You very well know that you submitted in late, you are not giving stakeholders time to consult.
“But even if Government had the money, the Government process of releasing the money is a bit long. Even if the money was there, that Money must be requisitioned it goes through the system, it must be validated, the accountant general must do something the process might take a minimum of two or three days even if the money is there.”
The Silverbacks, pitted in a Pool that has Nigeria, Mali and Cape Verde, is expected to fly out tonight if FUBA acquires the funds on time.
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