Minister of youth directs SSBF to hold elections within 60 days

Minister of youth directs SSBF to hold elections within 60 days
South Sudan Basketball Federation President Luol Deng (photo credit: courtesy)

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Dr. Joseph Akech, gave the National Commission for Registration of Youth and Sports and the South Sudan Basketball Federation until February 28, 2024, to hold elections, failing which they risked a FIBA ban.

Akech noted that the disputes within the leadership and management of Sudan’s Basketball Federation (SSBF) could roil the already established good reputation that the federation commands after the good performances of the basketball teams. Hence, he called for faster remedial measures.

Last week, the General Assembly of the South Sudan Basketball Federation suspended the SSBF President, Luol Deng, over his alleged failure to respond to a call for a meeting as his four-year tenure came to an end on Friday.

The assembly demanded that the basketball legend submit a report of his work plan for the last four years.

Due to the disagreements, Dr Akech urged the SSBF president to cooperate with the National Commission to register youth and sports organisations within the ministry and to organise the election in less than 60 days.

“I learned that there are disputes within the SSBF that resulted in the alleged dismissal of members of the executive committee by you as president of the SSBF and that such a dismissal, in turn, resulted in an alleged impeachment or suspension of the president of the SSBF,” he said.

The statement said that among the reasonable expectations of the international community is the respect of the FIBA regulations and the SSBF Constitution, as specified in Article 9.1(b) of the FIBA rules.

According to the statement, in order for the SSBF to be compliant with the clause, it must uphold democratic values such as regular democratic elections, openness, respect for our Constitution, and involvement in FIBA activities.

“Our SSBF’s credibility in the eyes of the public, both domestically and internationally, could be weakened if we fail to strictly uphold and promote these ideals. In light of these circumstances, I am using “the power placed upon me by section 7(4) of the Youth and Sport,” the minister further said.

“I direct your office to strictly operate in compliance with and adhere to your constitutional mandate calling for the Annual General meeting and hold elections within 60 days effective from November 29th, 2023, to 28th February.”

South Sudan has tremendously improved in basketball under Mr Deng. The men’s basketball team in competed in World Cup 2023 making a debut in the tournament but failing to proceed beyond group stage. The team qualified for 2024 Paris Olympics