By Charles Mutebi
2013 FIBA Africa Zone Five
UGANDA’S hopes of success at the 2012 FIBA Africa Zone Five national championship are in danger of being injured by an on-going issue over the eligibility of Geoffrey Soro.
The participation of the highly talented youngster, who has just been named the 2012 FUBA men’s top division MVP, hangs in the balance due to a mix-up regarding his date of birth.
The Zone Five Secretariat has asked FUBA to clarify the two different dates of birth of Soro in their system.
The first one was submitted when Soro represented Uganda’s U-18 basketball team in 2008. The second one was handed in for the upcoming regional tournament in Tanzania.
FUBA have explained the situation and are now hoping the Secretariat is going to clear the player, whose energy is desperately needed in Uganda’s frontcourt. Inevitably, the issue has stalled the confirmation of the men’s final squad, as head coach Mandy Juruni explained.
“We are waiting for some players to be cleared before we can officially release the team,” said Juruni.
The coach said ‘some players’ simply to conceal the identity of the affected party but in actual sense it is only Soro’s eligibility under the spot light. Juruni is positive Soro will be cleared because this is the senior team where there are no age restrictions.
Yet there is the potential –– gross as it might sound –– that Soro could incur a ban if the Secretariat determines that he falsified his age to play for Uganda U-18 all those years ago.