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Afro-basket qualifiers for Bulawayo

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THE Basketball Union of Zimbabwe (BUZ) is considering bringing the Africa Basketball Championships (Afro-basket) and All-Africa Games qualifiers slated for February 21-to-28 next year to Bulawayo following the installment of new state of the art courts at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) this month.

THANDIWE MOYO
SPORTS CORRESPONDENT

The qualifiers were postponed from last month because of renovations at the venue for the just-ended African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games.

Joe Mujuru, the BUZ secretary-general said they were considering bringing the qualifiers to Bulawayo, but only after agreements have been made with the custodians of the new equipment.

“A lot has changed for Bulawayo especially since the equipment arrived. We are hoping that we could make agreements with the local organising committee (Youth Games) who own the equipment to use it for the qualifiers. If we manage to do that we can get the games to Bulawayo,” he said.

Mujuru said ZITF had been co-operative and that there were factors they had to consider before moving the games to Bulawayo.

The former Bulawayo Basketball Association boss said they had to consider the budget which they have set at $45 000 as cost for running the qualifiers.

“People should remember that these are seniors and that the Youth Games are over. We would need money to run the games and this would be about $45 000 for the match officials. BUZ has to take care of this and raise the amount.

“For us to host the games, we would need the support from Bulawayo.

“We have to engage the government and the corporate sector,” he said.

Mujuru said Harare had been put on hold, but could still be used if they fail to utilise Bulawayo.

He said the equipment that was bought for the Youth Games is the same that is used in the United States’ National Basketball Association league and the Olympics.

“We have been preparing for the competition and we understand that South Africa, Angola, Botswana and Zambia have also started their preparations.”

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