Fiba elects Niang as new president

Hamane Niang has today (Thursday) been elected as the new president of the International Basketball Federation (Fiba), replacing Horacio Muratore.

Malian official Niang had been a vice-president of Fiba and president of Fiba Africa for the period spanning 2014 to 2019. The Fiba presidency traditionally rotates between the continental bodies and Niang had faced no competition from within Africa, leading to his unanimous election at the Fiba Congress in Beijing, China.

Delegates from 156 national federations in attendance at the Congress also elected new Central Board members for the 2019-2023 term of office. Niang, who has formerly served as president of the Mali Basketball Federation and also Mali’s Minister of Sport, said: “We are the governing body of basketball and we must continue to play the leading role in developing our sport. Together, we can become the most popular sports community in the world.”

The Central Board members, along with the newly elected president and treasurer Ingo Weiss, re-elected for a second term, will join 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.

The Central Board will appoint a representative of North America’s National Basketball Association (NBA) and a representative of the players. In addition, the Central Board may co-opt additional members, with full voting rights, if they are deemed to offer additional special expertise.

The newly-formed Central Board will meet for the first time on September 14 in Beijing, on the occasion of the final weekend of the 2019 Basketball World Cup, which commences in China on Saturday.

Muratore was elected as president of Fiba in August 2014. The Argentine replaced France’s Yvan Mainini and served a five-year term spanning 2014-2019. Reflecting on the main achievements during his tenure, he told Fiba’s official website: “Our aim at Fiba is to develop and promote the game of basketball. It’s also to bring people together and to unite the community.

“The main vehicle to accomplish this mission has been the new competition system, introducing the Fiba Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers in November 2017. By having national teams compete more frequently and at home, Fiba has provided more opportunities to watch games in person, on television and online via live streaming.

“The Qualifiers gave our federations a unique chance to welcome fans, generate profits through ticket sales and sponsorship, offer opportunities to up-and-coming young players and hold games in cities where their national teams had never been before. Fiba is also playing its part, including a remarkable investment of more than €30m ($33.2m) for the benefit of our federations over the 2017-2021 cycle.”