31 January 2007

ZIMBABWE : Botswana pull-out of games

BOTSWANA have withdrawn from the Zone Six Basketball championships to be hosted by Zimbabwe next month.

The championships, which will be used as joint preliminaries for the 2007 All Africa Games and the Africa Cup of Nations, are set to run from February 26 to March 3.
Basketball Union of Zimbabwe (BUZ) acting chairman Addison Chiware said only six countries will be participating at the games.
“I have just been informed by the Federation International de Basketball (FIBA) that Botswana will not be part of the contestants.
“The country’s withdrawal from the championships has also resulted in a change of the dates it is now going to start as we are going to start two days later than the scheduled date,” said Chiware.
Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia have all confirmed taking part at the games. Despite Botswana’s pull-out, Chiware was confident the tournament would be a success.
Malawi will be making a return to international competition after almost 20 years in obscurity.
Two top teams, one men’s and the other from women will represent the Southern African region at the All Africa Games and the Nations Cup to be hosted by Algeria and Angola respectively.
Zimbabwe’s chances of qualifying for the finals of both tournaments are bright especially given that Angola, who posed the biggest threat, will not be involved in the preliminaries.
Angola automatically qualified for both tournaments by virtue of being the defending champions of the All Africa Games and hosts of the Africa Nations Cup.
Senegal will host the women’s tournament in August.

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