ALL is in place for the weeklong Afro-Basket and All-Africa Games qualifiers set to take off tomorrow in Bulawayo.
BY GRACE CHIRANGANDE
Visiting countries were expected to start arriving yesterday, with South Africa the first to jet and followed by Botswana while Sychelles are expected tonight.
Angola is expected in the country tomorrow morning but there was still doubt on the availability of Zambia who had not confirmed their attendance by yesterday.
Basketball Union of Zimbabwe (BUZ) spokesperson Joe Mujuru confirmed, “We are now ready for the tournament and everything is almost in place and we want to appeal to the Bulawayo fans to come and support the teams. So far we have had assistance from the sports ministry and we are grateful,”
He also said that despite having assistance from the sports ministry, BUZ is still appealing to the business community for funds to see them through.
Mujuru thanked a local city lodge, Glen Lodge for offering accommodation to some of the participating members Mujuru said there are enormous advantages that would be realised by the country for hosting the games.
“There is a social and economic benefit for such an event and Zimbabwe will be put on the map. With five countries coming into Zimbabwe, we can as well call them sports tourists and this goes a long way to putting the country on the map,” he added.
He also said he is now confident that the Zimbabwean teams will make a mark in the competition.
“We want to qualify for the All-Africa Games and the Afro-Basket championships and I’m very optimistic that we will win. As you know our women’s team qualified for the last edition of the Afro-Basket competition and I believe they have all it takes to make it again,” Mujuru said.
Mujuru said they were still waiting for Zambia’s confirmation to participate.
Sikhumbuzo Ndlovu, BUZ development and technical president, said the fixtures for the tournament will be out tomorrow morning when all teams have arrived.