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UCU wrong to pull out of 3x3 world basketball tourney - Kabenge

By Agatha Mutebi

Added 19th September 2017 12:22 PM

Makerere University and UCU qualified to represent Uganda

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Makerere University and UCU qualified to represent Uganda

The president  of the Association of University Sports in Uganda (AUSU) Peninah Kabenge believes Uganda Christian University’s (UCU) decision to pull out of the concluded 2017 the 3x3 World University Basketball League finals in Xiamen, China was uncalled for.

Unhappy about the institution’s resolution, Kabenge told New Vision that UCU made a wrong decision to cancel their trip for the 3x3 world event.

“The cited financial challenges for the UCU team for me don’t hold water,” said Kabenge.

“The players were fully funded; air tickets, full board accommodation in a five star hotel. I still don’t understand why the institution or the sports department of UCU came to that conclusion. And if it’s anything to do with travelling with an official, the Serbian team (the University of Kragujevac) didn’t have a single official but still managed to make it to the event. Not to mention, they performed well,” she added. 

Makerere University and UCU qualified to represent Uganda at the just concluded 2017 3x3 world event (September 14-17) in Xiamen. The teams came second with silver after ISEG, the Senegalese teams in both the men’s and women’s categories respectively during the 3x3 African University Championships held in April in Kenya. 

UCU Lady Canons pulled out of the contest on short notice, with only a few days to the tournament while Makerere represented in the men’s category. 

According to the UCU acting coach, Samuel Lukaire, the Mukono University side informed the Federation of International University Sport (FISU) about their withdrawal from the tournament on September 12 with only two days to its start.

The organizers of the event (FISU) had made an arrangement where all players to take part in the event were fully funded save for their allowances. The various institutions were therefore only tasked to prepare four players ahead of the event.

A total of five people were expected to travel for the event; four players and possibly an official who was not to be funded by FISU.

In this case, UCU claims that they saw it fit that their players travelled with an official whom the University was not able to fund.

“I understand many interpret our decision basing on the fact that the players were not to be given any allowances but that’s not the reason. As a University we are responsible for what happens to our students wherever they go and we saw it fit that they travel with at least one official to look after them which we failed to do due to financial constraints,” said Lukaire.   

“The UCU sports budget was also poor. We had already spent a lot of money on the 3x3 African University Championships in Kenya and considering the fact that we are to spend more on other future events before the end of the year, the sports department and the University reached a consensus to pull out of the event,” he added. 

However, no matter their explanation for pulling out on a fully funded trip by FISU at the last minute the University team awaits its fate for its actions with higher chances of being fined or worse banned from participating in the 3 on 3 international events.  

Their decision also affected the players who were rather demotivated after they missed out on the exposure.  

“We have missed out on the experience at the event. I believe if we had gotten a chance to participate we could have gone all the way to the quarter finals,” said the Lady Canon’s team captain, Vilma Achieng. 

Racheal Muwangunzi, Rita Imanishimwe, and Zaina Lokwameri are the other three players who missed the tournament.

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