Rwanda: Ferwaba, Sports Ministry Start Early Preps for Afrobasket 2021

Early meetings have started as Rwanda steps up preparations for the 2021 FIBA Men's African Basketball Championship (Afrobasket) scheduled to be held in Kigali.

The magnificent Kigali Arena will host the tournament from August 24 to September 5.

Rwanda, who beat off competition from Senegal, DR Congo and Côte d'Ivoire in the bidding process in June 2019, will become the first East African nation to organise the Afrobasket finals since 1993 when it was played in Kenya.

Desire Mugwiza, president of the Rwanda basketball federation (Ferwaba), says that virtual meetings with the Ministry of Sports and other partners started early for better coordination of the tournament, beginning from the qualifications that are due to get underway in November.

"Several meetings will be held in the coming weeks for better preparation and coordination, starting from the qualifiers," he told Times Sport in an interview on Tuesday.

"Ferwaba will closely work with Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB) and the national police among other partners to assess together the progress of the preparations in all aspects as we look forward to a successful tournament," he added.

In the qualifiers, Rwanda has been placed in Group C along with Nigeria, Algeria and Mali.

However, as the host country, Rwanda has an automatic ticket to participate at the 2021 Afrobasket finals tournament. But, Mugwiza is positive the qualifiers will be a good test for the national team to evaluate their competitive level against some of the best teams on the continent.

It's unclear whether the tournament's qualifiers will be held behind closed doors as a result of the coronavirus, but Mugwiza said the local basketball governing body is monitoring the situation closely with the government.

"It will depend on the situation of Covid-19 at that time. We will continue to work under the government's guidelines because we believe the tournament can be better with supporters at the arena."

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