The Zimbabwe national men and women’s teams’ trip to South Africa for the Zone VI Afrobasket and All-Africa Games qualifiers was hanging in the balance Wednesday.
The qualifying tournament gets underway at the University of Pretoria Indoor Sports Arena on Sunday until January 15 and the country’s two national teams were scheduled to depart tomorrow.
Informed sources at the Basketball Union of Zimbabwe (BUZ) told NewsDay Sport the cash-strapped association had failed to raise the $48 000 needed to send the two teams to South Africa.
“The teams are supposed to leave for South Africa on Friday (tomorrow) but at the moment the trip is in doubt because the funds needed to make the trip have not been secured.
“Initially a budget of $48 000 had been set to cover all the costs of which $12 000 would cover the accommodation fees for staying at the Games Village, $8 500 for transport costs, while $2 000 was needed for registration fees.”
“At the moment the budget has since been reduced to $20 000, which means the teams the teams would have to seek cheaper accommodation outside the Games Village,” said the source.
In October last year BUZ pulled out of the Under-18 Afrobasket Championships in Rwanda at the eleventh hour after failing to secure enough funding.
Although the Federation of International Basketball Africa did not fine BUZ for the no-show, the source said this time around they would surely be fined if they did not take part in the tourney.
BUZ athletes’ commission president Shingai Magede confirmed that they were still looking for funding to make the trip and appealed to the corporate world to come to their rescue.
“It’s true that we are facing serious financial challenges and at the moment we don’t have enough funds to make the trip. We are appealing for support from the corporate world to come to our rescue,” said Magede.
Hosts South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia will send both their men and women’s teams while Botswana will field their men’s team only.
Mozambique will be competing for a place at the Afrobasket tournament as they have already qualified for the All-Africa Games by virtue of being the hosts.
The Zimbabwe national women’s team qualified for the last All-Africa Games in Algeria but the men are yet to qualify since taking part when Zimbabwe last hosted the Games in 1995.
Zimbabwe women: Regina Chisale (captain), Charity Chigumba, Fadzai Mabasa (vice-captain), Sharon Chamunorwa, Ethel Saba, Isabel Tengende, Dorcas Marondera, Margret Magwaro, Yolanda Matayataya, Helena Nyagato, Rachel Makoni, Precious Musanhi
Coach: Ronald Garura
Zimbabwe men: Allan Zimbangu; Hamilton Mudawarima; Simbarashe Mugumezi; Allan Tegunde; Vitalis Chikoko; Mpumelelo Hlabangana; Farai Tumbare; Menard Masawi; Norest Shenje; Duncan Shenje; Nevile Chivhanganye;
Tawanda Chistinde; Stenan Mapurisana; Tatenda Mataruse
Coach: Ngoni Mukukula