Luol Deng Foundation not SSBF extension, says Arek

Luol Deng Foundation not SSBF extension, says Arek

The Luol Deng Foundation Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Arek Ajou Deng has dismissed the claims on social media that the management of the South Sudan Basketball Federation (SSBF) has been taken over by the foundation.

In a talk show with The City Review on Friday in Juba, Arek who is heading the foundation, said there have been some comments from some people that there is no ‘‘difference between the foundation and the SSBF’’. 

Although she did not name those she said were spreading such rumours, she lamented that ‘‘some people have been given negative messages about the foundation that resources meant for SSBF’’ are being diverted to the LDF. 

“First of all, I want to clarify the commentary out there and state that Luol Deng Foundation (LDF) and South Sudan Basketball Federation (SSBF) are two different originations; they are totally not the same.

“I want to put it clear to the country that Luol Deng Foundation has been there from 2005 before the founder Luol Deng became the president of South Sudan Basketball Federation in 2019,” Ms Arek narrated.

She further revealed that LDF had been financially well off even before the founder had a dream of becoming the SSBF President.

“So, before he became the SSBF President, he had been funding it from his own pocket and the foundation had been well known, so it is very clear that whoever claims that SSBF has been used to fund the foundation is totally confused,” she added.

She advised the public to disregard such information which she said tarnished the name of the foundation adding that there are so many positive things outside there that can help people to develop the sports in the country.

When asked to comment on the wrangles in the South Sudan Basketball Federation, she said “That is something that I do not want to comment on because I believe it will be as if you are adding fuel in.”

“But I can say is that let us take our attention on something that can help the country [more] than keeping our attention on negative things which will not take us backwards,” she added.

Claims

She was answering a claim that was made by the SSBF Secretary-General Secretary-General Marier Anyuat Angui and secretary for finance, Deng Biar Deng, in a September press conference that it is difficult for someone to understand the differences between SSBF and LDF.

Deng Biar Deng, the SSBF finance secretary, told reporters that his work as finance secretary became useless there was nothing in the account.

He revealed that there were big problems in the federation not only for the secretary-general but also the entire federation.

“The functionality of all the departments within the federation is where the issue is from, I cannot be the Secretary of Finance when I do not have the records of what we spend,” he protested.

“Now it becomes difficult for some people to know the difference between the LDF and SSBF, some people may have the heart to fund the federation but as things move, we even fail to understand.” 

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