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Algeria withdraws from Kigali Afrobasket qualifiers

Algeria were seen as one of the favourites in Group F, which also includes hosts Rwanda, Nigeria and Mali. Net photo

Algeria national basketball team has withdrawn from the upcoming qualifiers of the African Basketball Championship (Afrobasket) in Kigali.

The tournament is scheduled for November 25-29, at Kigali Arena.

 

Algeria belonged to Group D that also includes Nigeria, Mali and Rwanda. The North African country has since been replaced with South Sudan in the group.

 

While announcing his country’s withdrawal from the qualifiers, Algerian basketball federation’s president, Rabah Bouarifi, cited lack of sufficient preparations as the cause.

 

“We cannot go to Rwanda with a decimated team. I am against participating just to participate,” he said.

“The preparation was severely disrupted. The players have been out of competition since March, it would have been difficult for them facing tough selections.”

Meanwhile, Mali were the first team to arrive in the country on Wednesday, November 18, before conducting their first training session at Kigali Arena on Thursday.

The South Sudanese delegation was expected in the country late Thursday, and will hold their first training drill on Friday evening in the Kigali Arena bubble.

The local basketball governing body, Ferwaba, has said that the qualifiers will be played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rwanda will face Mali in the two sides’ opener on November 26.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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