International Basketball Federation Africa president Anibal Manave is confident the Basketball Africa League (Bal) can still be held this year.
The tournament was due to be held from March to May across six African countries, before the novel coronavirus pandemic forced a suspension.
With a number of sports worldwide moving towards resumption, there may just be cause for optimism said Manave.
“As an organisation, we are currently facing a very complicated situation,” Manave told FIBA.Basketball.
“Nobody can predict the future, and we depend on the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Health Authorities’ guidelines. But, it’s worth noting that some [African] countries are beginning to relax their lockdown measures, which is a good sign for making the Bal a reality this year.
“What we have to do is to resume the Bal project in the next few months, maybe in September. Some say that the Covid-19 pandemic could reach its peak in Africa in September, but there’s no evidence of that, and the good news is that most countries continue fighting this pandemic.
“Our hope is that the Bal’s first edition takes place in 2020. It’s important to give all stakeholders involved a sign of confidence. That includes clubs, local federations, sponsors, and public. And the best way to give them confidence is by starting the competition.”
A total of 12 teams are scheduled to compete in the Bal with Patriots (Rwanda), GNBC (Madagascar), Ferroviario de Maputo (Mozambique), AS Douanes (Senegal), AS Police (Mali), AS Sale (Morocco), GS Petroliers (Algeria), FAP (Cameroon), Petro de Luanda (Angola), Rivers Hoopers (Nigeria), Union Monastir (Tunisia) and Zamalek (Egypt) all signed up.
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo