Why Burundian club Dynamo was expelled from Basketball Africa League


BASKETBALL Why Burundian club Dynamo was expelled from Basketball Africa League

Festus Chuma 14:09 - 14.03.2024

Burundian club Dynamo was withdrawn from the Basketball Africa League after refusing jersey requirements leading to game forfeitures and political tensions.

Burundian club Dynamo's debut in the NBA-affiliated Basketball Africa League (BAL) ended abruptly, as they were expelled from the tournament for refusing to wear jerseys bearing a Visit Rwanda logo. 

This decision comes amid escalating tensions between the two neighbouring nations, further intensified by Burundi's accusations against Rwanda for supporting rebel activities. 

The refusal to don the promotional logo during the Kalahari Conference games in Pretoria, South Africa, led to the forfeiture of two crucial matches.

The conflict reached a pivotal moment when Dynamo decided to tape over the Visit Rwanda logo during their opening game against the Cape Town Tigers. 

Subsequent games against Moroccan team FUS Rabat and Angola's Petro de Luanda were forfeited as the team persisted in its refusal to display the contentious logo. 

This act of defiance, reportedly mandated by the Burundian government, brought to light the deep-seated political discord between the two countries.

Dynamo's American guard, Bryton Hobbs, expressed his frustration on social media, revealing that the directive to cover the logo originated from the highest governmental echelons.

 "The government told our club president that we can't play, so they told the BAL that we have to forfeit our game because we blocked out the Visit Rwanda thing," Hobbs disclosed in an Instagram Live post. 

Amadou Gallo, President of the BAL articulated the league's position in a statement emphasizing the necessity of adhering to its rules and requirements.

"Dynamo Basketball Club has further refused to comply with the BAL’s rules and requirements governing jerseys and uniforms, thereby forfeiting today’s game against Petro de Luanda and its participation in the 2024 BAL season," Gallo stated. 

Under FIBA rules a team's two forfeitures in the same tournament automatically result in its withdrawal.

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