19 February 2015

Zambia Out of 2015 Afro-Basketball Games

ZAMBIA has withdrawn participation from the 2015 Afro-Basketball and All Africa Games qualifiers to be held in Zimbabwe after failing to raise K48, 000 to pay affiliation fee.
The team was expected to leave for Bulawayo yesterday for the week-long tournament that will run from February 21 to 28 but failed to raise the needed amount to take part in the competition.
As a result, Zambia will miss out on challenging for a slot at the Afro-Basketball Championships to be co-hosted by Tunisia and Cameroun and the All Africa Games to be held later this year in Congo Brazzaville.
Zambia Basketball Association (ZBA) president Shawki Fawaz said in an interview that the association was hoping to get assistance from the Sports Council of Zambia (SCZ) but that sadly nothing materialised.
"We had written to the Sports Council of Zambia and the Ministry of Sports but it took us long to get a feedback as there was no Minister in place and we had to wait until a new one was appointed.
Our general secretary went to the Sports Council this morning (yesterday) and he was told there was no money. So we have withdrawn from the competition," he said.
The Angolan men's team, by virtue of defending champions, have already qualified for the Afro-Basketball Championship leaving Zimbabwe, South Africa, Seychelles and Botswana to battle it for honours. Angola's aim will be to win the group to clinch the All Africa Games place.
Meanwhile, Basketball Union of Zimbabwe (BUZ) secretary-general Joe Mujuru told the Chronicle that Zambia's absence from the competition has come as a blessing in disguise for his team.
Mujuru said Zambia has a strong men's team that could have given Zimbabwe tough opposition during the qualifiers.

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