FUBA have made contact with highly-placed officials in the Ministry of Finance
Is there finally hope for the Uganda Gazelles and Silverbacks? Yes.
After weeks of financial despair for basketball governing body FUBA, the Ministry of Finance and a couple of corporate juggernauts may be about to rescue the national women's and men's basketball teams.
"By Friday we will know whether we have the money (to take our teams to Egypt for the FIBA Afrobasket Zone V Qualifiers)," revealed a slightly hopeful Mohammed Santur, chairman of the National Team Management Committee.
FUBA have made contact with highly-placed officials in the ministry of finance, one of whom Santur described as a "very serious man".
Santur also told New Vision Sport that talks with MTN had taken place and a positive response is expected tomorrow.
Betway, who have shown a strong willingness to invest in Ugandan sport over the last two years, have also been approached and are also considering FUBA's request.
All these developments come after the National Council of Sports committed to funding less than half of the Gazelles and Silverbacks' budget for the Qualifiers.
NCS' offer ($33, 000) would only cater for one team but as Santur said you can't pick and choose between the national teams.
"The girls are the Zone V defending champions, so you can't leave them behind," he explained. "Meanwhile, the men risk being demoted (by FIBA Afrique) if they miss out on qualification."
FUBA's original budget for the tournament was a modest $76, 000, and it included a pretournament two-week training camp in Alexandria (Egypt) for both teams.
Now, if the training camp goes ahead it won't be for more than five days. Still, they will take it.
"Even if we go into camp for five days," Santur explained. "It will be good. We will have double training sessions every day."