The Minister of Youth and Sports has given the South Sudan Basketball Federation and the National Commission for Registration of Youth and Sports bodies till February 28, 2024, to conduct elections or risk being banned by FIBA.
The ministerial directive comes three days after the General Assembly of the South Sudan Basketball Federation suspended President Luol Deng over his failure to respond to a meeting call as his four-year tenure comes to an end.
However, the South Sudan Basketball Federation released a press statement on 24th November on its official Facebook page in what appeared to be a response to the move by the General Assembly.
According to the federation, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Dr. Joseph Geng Akech has resolved to put the elections on hold until further notice.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Dr Geng wrote to the president of the South Sudan Basketball Federation calling him to conduct the election within 60 days, as well as to cooperate and coordinate with the National Commission for registration of youth and sports bodies in the ministry.
In a statement sent to Eye Radio newsroom on Monday, the Minister of Youth and Sports said that squabbles within the management and administration of South Sudan’s Basketball Federation have the potential to derail meaningful progress made recently by SSBF.
“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 SSBF and that such a dismissal, in turn, resulted in an alleged impeachment or suspension of the president of SSBF,” stated the Minister in a statement.
As a result, the minister has directed SSBF to adhere to conization and call for a General Assembly.
“Conginzant of the ongoing squabbles within the management and administration of South Sudan’s Basketball Federation (SSBF), taking note of the fact that such squabbles have the potential to derail the meaningful progress and strides that our able SSBF champions have made in the recent years,” stated the statement.
“I direct your office to strictly operate in compliance with and adhere to your constitutional mandate by calling for an annual general assembly meeting and holding an election within 60 days effective from November 29th, 2023 to 28th February 2024,” said the statement.
The letter that is addressed to the President of the South Sudan Basketball Federation also stated that all members of SSBF and especially office holders, must respect their constitutional obligations at all times and so at a time when South Sudan is participating in international and regional sports competitions.
Dr Geng says the SSSBF should hold an election within 60 days after its presidential term has expired on 24th November.
The Minister of Youth and Sports stated that the SSBF election is the only way forward for the country to avoid being locked out of participating in international and regional sports activities.
“This is the only way forward at this point, failure to conform with this directive only exposes our country adversely, runs the risk of locking SSBF out of participating in international and regional sports activities, and ultimately poses the risk of losing our membership in FIBA.”
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