Luol: ‘My enemies hate progress’
The President of the South Sudan Basketball Federation, Luol Deng, said he was committed to working for the success of the basketball team despite the piling election pressure.
Luol had received a government directive to conduct elections in February 2024.
In a press briefing yesterday, Minister of Youth and Sports Geng Akech reiterated that the federation should conduct elections as per his previous directives.
However, he said Luol and his team should continue to lead in the few months left.
“Until such elections are held in February 2024, the current leadership of the federation led by Mr. Luol Deng and his executive body will continue to stay in office,” Geng said.
Luol agreed to conduct a free, fair, and transparent election as well as work hard to achieve more for the basketball team.
“I think it is my duty as the President of the Federation to do the best that I can to ensure that the election is held in the right manner and is being moderated by the right people,” Luol said
He was confident that the time given would allow him to progress with the activities of the federation, adding that he would remain committed to the success of the team.
“We are going to keep accomplishing; we are going to keep on moving forward,” he said.
Luol added that the citizens should continue to be happy to appreciate what his team has achieved for the country, adding that some things are hard and may not be seen again.
Among the achievements mentioned by Luol is taking the country to the World Cup for the first time, something many African countries called an “unexpected milestone”.
“We have achieved something that nobody ever did in the history of the whole world, not just Africa,” he said.
Others include building many basketball courts across South Sudan and serious engagement in various trainings for both players and coaches, besides the academy.
He expressed his frustrations with some individuals he accused of failing to appreciate his achievements but continued to attack the federation.
“Those individuals are not attacking me but they are attacking basketball,” he said.
With the continued battles in the federation, Luol reiterated that his decisions are made with no regret, as they were made objectively.
“Every move that I make as a leader is for my country to be the best in the world,” he said.
He argued that the federation would not allow small disagreements that can be handled to distort what has been achieved.
“We cannot lose the stake in what is empowered for us and what we are trying to do at the end of the day. Everything that we do is for the youth of South Sudan and the development of sport in South Sudan,” he said.
At hand, the South Sudanese basketball team has qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, a first in the young nation’s history.