THE Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF), leadership has expressed its faith in the newly elected International Basketball Federation (FIBA), president, Hamane Niang. Delegates from 156 national federations in attendance at the XXI FIBA Congress in Beijing, China recently, elected former Mali Sports Minister, Niang new FIBA president.
Apart from electing a new president, the congress also elected new Central Board members for the 2019-2023 term of office.
Niang become the second African to lead FIBA after Senegalese Abdoulaye Seye Moreau (1998-2002). TBF president, Phares Magesa and his vice Mboka Mwambusi attended the congress.
Magesa told the ‘Daily News’ in the city yesterday that his federation was happy to have another African leader at the top of the world body.
“As always, Tanzania we are more than ready to work with the new FIBA leaders, we congratulate him (Niang) and board members for being elected to the top office,” he said.
Magesa added that Niang election is good news not only for Tanzania but Africa and world at large.
“Since Niang is an African, we believe that he will be a better position to understand challenges that African basketball faces.
“We hope that it will be easy for him also to work with Africa federations and speed up development of the sport in the continent,” he said.
Niang, who succeeds Horacio Muratore in becoming the new president of FIBA, was elected unanimously by all in attendance.
Prior to his new post, Niang has been Vice-President of FIBA and also President of FIBA Africa for the period of 2014-2019. Ingo Weiss from Germany was re-elected for his second term as FIBA Treasurer.
These Central Board members, along with the newly elected President and Treasurer will join FIBA Secretary General, Andreas Zagklis as well as the Presidents of FIBA’s five regions: Anibal Manave of Africa, Carol Callan of the Americas, Sheikh Saud Bin Ali Al-Thani of Asia, Turgay Demirel of Europe and Burton Shipley of Oceania for the new term.
Magesa said that Tanzania like many other countries is facing several challenges in the game, which include inadequate infrastructure and limited financial support.
Budget notwithstanding, Magesa said, they have been working hard to promote and develop the game from grassroots.
This is why, he said, basketball has maintained its position as the second most popular sport behind football in Tanzania.