The governing body of basketball in Rwanda has set October 18 as the new date for the resumption of the new BK Basketball National League season.
The initial date of resumption was Friday, September 4, but the recent rise of Coronavirus cases in the country led to a delay.
At a meeting between the federation and representatives of the clubs on Saturday, September 12, a new date was set.
Ferwaba President Desire Mugwiza however said that the new date set for the resumption of the basketball league is not cast in stone as yet, and will be implemented only if it is approved by the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Health.
The Ministry of Sports will also need to approve the date for the resumption of group training which is proposed to be on September 25.
Mugwiza also revealed that the league will return with a new short tournament format which will feature the top 8 teams in the men’s and women’s championship only.
“The ranking of the best 8 teams for men and 4 for women will be established per average points gained per game played. The 8 male teams will be split into two groups of 4 teams, and the best 2 of each group will qualify for the semi-finals.”
“In the women category, the 4 teams will play against each other in the first round for ranking purposes. The ranking will determine the fixtures of the semi-finals.”
With the current ranking, the eight teams set to feature in the short format for the men include REG, Patriots, APR, IPRC Kigali, IPRC Huye, UGB, IPRC Musanze and Epoir.
For the women, the four teams to feature in the championship will be IPRC Huye, The Hoops, Ubumwe and APR.
The teams participating in the short format will enter camp on October 16 and will not be allowed to leave camp until the tournament is over on October 24.
Wanyama Tips Harmbee Stars For 2022 World Cup
Harambee Stars of Kenya captain Victor Wanyama believes his side have the potential to make it to the 2022 World Cup.
The Harambee Stars have never made it to the FIFA World Cup, and are in the same qualifying group as Mali, Rwanda, and Uganda.
The Montreal Impact midfielder insists that Kenya are in a tough qualifying group and has tipped Mali as favorites to make it to the World Cup, but is confident Kenya can also make it to the global showpiece.
“It’s a difficult group and we respect all the teams,” Wanyama said.
“As with any qualifying event, you shouldn’t complain about the quality of your opponents or the group.
“We have strong rivals, but games are decided only on matchdays and out on the pitch, so we have to do our best to get good results and qualify from that group.
“I think Mali are the favourites, but Uganda and Rwanda are very good too. Any of those three could make it.”
“Every player dreams of the World Cup and we’ll do all we can to qualify. We hope things go in our favour and that we reach Qatar 2022.”
The midfielder said he knew Kenya would make it to the Africa Cup od Nations (AFCON) in Egypt in 2019 despite their 15-year absence, because of the great squad they had built.
“We knew that we had a group of players who were capable of achieving big things and qualifying for the continental finals after so long,” Wanyama continued.
“We also knew it was a very important tournament and that we had to be there. Having participated in the most recent edition, we look forward to making the next one too, but next time we’ll go there to compete.”
Next for Kenya will be their AFCON qualifier double header against Comoros in November.
London Marathon: Kipchoge And Bekele Arrive On September 28
Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge and 10,000m world record holder Kenenisa Bekele will arrive in London today ahead of the London Marathon on October 4.
Defending champion Kipchoge departed the Eldoret International Airport at 8:15 pm on Sunday 27 September aboard a 56-seater Boeing 737-500 aircraft chartered by the race organizers. Also on the flight were Amsterdam Marathon champion Vincent Kipchumba, Rotterdam Marathon champion Marius Kipserem, 2016 Mumbai Marathon champion Gideon Kipketer and Benson Kipruto.
The women’s contingent team consists of marathon record holder and women’s race defending champion Brigid Kosgei, 2018 winner Vivian Cheruiyot, world marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich, Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Jemeli and debutant Edith Chelimo.
Technical teams and pacemakers were also included.
At the airport in Eldoret to bid the athletes farewell were Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei, Chief Administrative Secretary for Sports Hassan Noor Hassan and Central Rift Athletics Kenya chairman Abraham Mutai, among others.
Speaking ahead of their departure, Tuwei said he was confident that theathletes were well prepared.
“It’s an honour for you as athletes to be sent a plane by the race organisers and we know as a federation you have trained well despite the coronavirus challenge. We wish you well and we know you are going to defend your titles,” said Tuwei.
The plane will also stop over in Addis Ababa to pick up the Ethiopian contingent led by multiple world and Olympic distance running champion Kenenisa Bekele. Bekele will be accompanied by compatriots Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun who placed second and third respectively at the 2019 race behind Kipchoge as well as the 2018 first runners up Shura Kitata.
The plane will then make a scheduled refueling stop in Athens, Greece, before making the final approach to London Stanstead Airport.
The race is being viewed by experts as a mouthwatering clash between two fierce rivals – Kenya and Ethiopia, and the main focus will be on the clash between Kipchoge and Bekele. The duo are the only men in history to run a marathon under two hours and two minutes – Kipchoge’s world record mark of 2:01.39 and Bekele’s 2:01.41.
The 40th edition of the race was initially planned for April 26 before it was postponed owing to Covid-19 pandemic and will thus be the first in history to have elites-only races.
Similarly, unlike in the previous editions where the race is held in the largely flat course around River Thames, this year’s event will take place on an enclosed looped course in St James’s Park in a secure biosphere.
Ugandan Club Football Resumption delayed As FUFA Can’t Pay For Covid Tests
The Uganda Premier League (UPL) originally scheduled to resume on October 17 has been pushed back with a tentative date for the season opener by a month.
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni had earlier given the go-ahead for resumption of football in the country, but FUFA, UPL and their stakeholders must adhere to certain stringent health and coronavirus precautions before football kickstarts.
The postponement of the topflight league was announced by FUFA and UPL at their general assembly with clubs unable to meet some of the requirements issued by the president, with their inability to pay for bi-monthly Covid-19 tests.
“We’ve been making preparations, licensing and doing everything to ensure October 17 kick-off. We’ve been negotiating with government,” FUFA first vice president Justus Mugisha said.
“Fortunately, or unfortunately, we were allowed to play but the conditions are not favourable for the October 17 kick-off. Therefore, in order to allow more time for negotiations and preparations, we have postponed (league resumption) by one month.”
“In the same vein, we’ve extended registration of players by a month,” added Mugisha.
The promotional league playoffs are yet to be completed as the final UPL slot is still up for grabs, with Kataka set to play Kitara and Kiboga Young to play Ndejje University in the semi-final on a yet to be decided date.
With Covid-19 tests costing Shs240,000 per person, clubs now hope for government or FUFA intervention.
“We’ve had a couple of deliberations around Covid interventions and how they can be mitigated and we’ve been given some assurance by the federation and UPL that they will engage the Ministry of Health to support with the testing,” said Aggrey Ashaba, KCCA vice-chairman.
“At current rate, it will cost clubs almost Shs11m every 14 days to run the test and that is besides the rest of the SOPs. We believe they will work on our concerns and support football clubs to meaningfully get back to action because of the implications of not having fans into the stadiums means revenues are going to be lower than anticipated.”
The National Council of Sports (NCS) Assistant General Secretary-Technical David Katende said that the national team would be given first priority when sports resumes in the country, while NCS chairman Don Rukare said that the government was still unable to help clubs with financial contributions.
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