National, News

South Sudan Basketball team risks missing Paris Olympics

By Kei Emmanuel Duku.


South Sudan basketball national team risks not taking part in upcoming Paris Olympic Games, due to start on 26th July to 11th August, this year.

Chief De Mission (CDM) to the South Sudan National Olympics Committee, Eunice Philip Jada has revealed time is running out for submission of a complete list.

Jada said South Sudan is yet to submit a list of participants for the opening ceremony and those to take part in the various competitions.

According to Jada, South Sudan National Olympics Committee has been in touch with the Basketball Federation on how to process the travel documents for the players and participants; however, the federation has not submitted a complete list of participants, including their travel documents.

She said South Sudan has already missed several deadlines to submit lists of players to the organizers in Paris.

“We have missed the first deadline of March 18, 2024, to submit documents and names of the 15 participants who will take part in the ceremony, but the Basketball Federation has failed,” Mrs. Philip stated.

“We have been given the last deadline of April 29, 2024, but if we fail to participate in Paris come July, the basketball federation should be held accountable, not the Olympics committee,” she added.

The Bright Stars are in Group B alongside the United States of America, Serbia, and Puerto Rico in the Paris Olympic Games.

While speaking during the press conference at the South Sudan National Olympic Office in Juba, Philiph said some of the players from the states do not have passports, while for those others who are based abroad, the federation finds it difficult to assess their passports, and they have failed to coordinate with the respective players and submit their relevant documents on time.

“The organizers have allowed us to even submit passports for our foreign players for accreditation. Right from the beginning of March 2024, we have been sending emails and calling the federations to provide us with a complete list, but nothing has happened after 2 days of the elapsing of the second deadline on March 28,” she explained.

“They have now sent us some passports, but they would not indicate which players are entitled to a visa. because we have others who are exempt while others are not,” she lamented.

Philip went on to note that the South Sudan Olympic Committee had contacted the Directorate of Civil Registry, Nationality, Passports, and Immigration, and they were willing to process passports for participants who do not have any traveling documents; however, a lack of coordination by the office of the SSBF is hampering every process.

“They are talking about July. Yet departure from Juba is on July 15. What we want is only the passports of the participants, regardless of their numbers. It’s going to be a very big disappointment to the nation and fans whose hopes were raised high by this federation, but in the end, they want to lead them down; it’s very shameful,” she echoed.

When contacted for a comment, Dr. Arop, the Secretary General for South Sudan Basketball Federations, could not be reached via WhatsApp or direct call phone through his available contacts known to this publication.

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