Putting a stop to City Oilers’ run to an eighth straight National Basketball League crown this year was always going to require something extra ordinary.
While many anticipated that to happen on court halting Oilers progress happened off it after domestic basketball governing body Fuba announced the cancellation of local basketball competitions on Friday.
The development drew a mixed reaction from various stakeholders with some proposing a change in the local calendar to in a bid to salvage the season.
“Personally I don’t agree with that decision. I think it was too early. I thought they would change the cycle of the league from October to June like it’s done in most leagues in Africa,” stated Silverbacks and City Oilers coach Mandy Juruni who thinks cancelling the season in July was too early.
“There was no meeting to make us understand. And debate and see if there are solutions or not,’ he adds.
But with sport hardly mentioned as government eases the lockdown imposed in March. Fuba felt it could take longer for the game, considered high risk, to resume.
“If you consult on each and everything that means as leaders we have no mandate. I believe we made the right decision in the interest of the game. Having the league run from November – June is an assumption that sports will be allowed to resume by then which is not the case,” Fuba President Nasser Sserunjogi said of the decision.
Sunday Monitor understands that there have been clubs keen to have the season cancelled since they were spending money on players without activity.
Betway Power coach Arnold Lando “Mchuda” meanwhile expressed disappointment about the decision that he however believes was inevitable considering the current situation in the country.
“It is unfortunate. We are going to miss out on what we like as sportsmen. It is tough on everyone because we were all looking forward to starting the season but I guess our lives matter the most. It is a tough decision but it is understandable,” he said of the decision.
Following the announcement, only the Afrobasket qualifiers due in Egypt in November remain an exception.
Meanwhile according to Fuba, all contractual issues between players and their clubs will be handled in accordance with the contract laws of the country.
This includes players that had registered with their clubs for the 2020 basketball season without formal contracts. They will consequently be handled as per the Fuba rules and regulations of 2020 which provide for a default contract of two years. The two years are therefore expected to start from 2021 onwards.
The executive committee meanwhile also expects to use this time to come up with a clear road map and plan for the 2021 basketball season which shall be communicated at the end of August.
MEN - LAST 18 WINNERS
2019: City Oilers
2018: City Oilers
2017: City Oilers
2016: City Oilers
2015: City Oilers
2014: City Oilers
2013: City Oilers
2006: Nkumba Marines
LADIES - LAST 5 WINNERS
2019: JKL Lady Dolphins
2018: JKL Lady Dolphins
2017: UCU Lady Canons
2016: UCU Lady Canons
2015: UCU Lady Canons