- Panamá América
The president of the Panamanian Basketball Federation (Fepaba), Jair Peralta, acknowledged on Tuesday mistakes in some management of the funds given by the Panamanian government in the last five years, but denied that these went to the hands of the leaders and he contemplates taking a step aside.
"There are mistakes within the first years, we have to recognize some administrative errors, but what we have done for basketball is not hidden, basketball has grown, nobody has taken home a dollar, on the contrary we have taken from our pocket to face many things", said the Panamanian basketball director today at a press conference called by the federation.
He added that "we must recognize when we make a mistake, we have made an administrative mistake, but it does not mean that someone has taken a dollar from here, that I will not accept it and we have faced everything we have done, since day one".
Fepaba has been shaken again today by the local media, due to possible mishandling of funds given by the State, in this opportunity -according to the newspaper that investigates- it is about 5,000,000 dollars received in this five-year period.
"At the end of the road, the work of us is to try to lift basketball, nothing more than that. Our only sin on the board of directors is that we have done basketball, we have let grow basketball", said the former player of the Panamanian national team.
Peralta made it clear that with what happening, his greatest desire is to step aside the leadership of the hoop and ball sport, because "I feel disappointed as a leader, now I do understand many things" and reiterated that all these are sports political attacks.
"When I refer to political attacks, I mean political sports attacks, attacks are not internal to basketball, the issue is external, there are other currents, I really do not want to go into details", he said.
As to whether he is looking for the main position of the Panamanian Olympic Committee, as is handled in the atmosphere of Panamanian sport, the leader denied that he is looking for another position.
"We are very busy with basketball to have aspirations, frankly not, so that the people who can be behind all this will remain calm, we are thinking about leaving basketball, those supposed aspirations are due to the morbid, they think that some of us have an aspiration to the Olympic committee, which is not so, I say it here in public", he said.
The leader said in the same press conference that in Panama "it is difficult to be a sports manager, it is very difficult", but they have tried to be pristine in their work.
"I have to say that this is not an act of corruption, we have acted with transparency, we have delivered all the economic reports, we have been audited several times", he said.
On the lack of legal personality of the Professional Basketball League of Panama (LPB), also noted in the article published in the local media, Peralta argued that "we must remove it (the legal status), although there is no problem for that, the league is under the umbrella of the Fepaba, which does have legal status".
"It is not known if the start date of the 2019 tournament will be moved, if it is moved due to the circumstance, it will have to be done, due to the administrative crisis we are going through", he added.