She Cranes Forced to Withdraw from African Nations Championship as Federation Faces Crisis

Uganda's National Netball Team, the She Cranes, Withdraw from 2023 African Nations Championship Amidst Management Turmoil

she cranes
She Cranes Forced to Withdraw from African Nations Championship as Federation Faces Crisis
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The She Cranes, Uganda’s national netball team, will be missing from the upcoming 2023 African Nations Championship slated for November 26, 2023, in Botswana. Moses Mwase, Chairperson of the newly formed ad-hoc Normalization Committee for Netball, informed URN that the team is facing challenges in mobilizing resources on short notice due to recent management turmoil, making their participation impossible.

This decision stems from a crisis that erupted when the National Council of Sports (NCS) withdrew recognition from the Uganda Netball Federation (UNF), the body responsible for overseeing the national netball team. The conflict arose between UNF President Sarah Babirye Kityo and NCS General Secretary Patrick Ogwel, with accusations ranging from fund mismanagement to mishandling of government funds.

Despite the She Cranes’ remarkable achievements on the global stage, including a fifth-place finish in the recent Netball World Cup, internal disputes have disrupted their participation in the African Nations Championship. Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni had initially called for Kityo’s resignation to investigate allegations of player mistreatment, harassment, and financial irregularities.

In response to Kityo’s noncompliance with directives, the NCS revoked the Certificate of Recognition from the Uganda Netball Federation, preventing them from organizing national representations in international competitions. An ad-hoc normalization committee was then appointed to oversee daily operations until new elections can be held.

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While plans for netball elections are underway, Mwase emphasized that careful groundwork is necessary, and elections will be conducted in due time. Despite the challenges, the normalization committee is actively working to ensure the She Cranes’ participation in the Vitality Netball Nations Cup 2024, scheduled for January 2024, where Uganda will compete against England, Australia, and New Zealand.

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