COVID-19: FIBA advises basketball players worldwide to stay indoors

Basketball world governing body, FIBA president Hamane Niang and secretary-general Andreas Zagklis have urged the hoopsters worldwide to stay indoors and minimise the threat of the novel Coronavirus, which has already become a global pandemic.

The top FIBA bossed in a joint communique has stated that “no circumstance should our passion to play basketball surpass the importance of following the instructions of the public authorities” when it comes to helping ensure public health.

“In these extraordinary circumstances, where virtually all of our 213 National Member Federations have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is paramount that the basketball community is an example of responsible behaviour,” states a note of FIBA website.

The joint statement further reads, whilst we would usually implore you to play basketball as often as you can, our message today is to help the greater cause of protecting public health. In no circumstance should our passion to play basketball surpass the importance of following the instructions of the public authorities. We thank you for your understanding, your patience and your cooperation so far.

Coronavirus has resulted in major disruption to the basketball calendar, which we appreciate has, and will continue to, cause concern and uncertainty for you all. Rest assured, every decision we are taking is motivated by safety considerations for players, coaches, officials and fans.

FIBA was the first international sports federation to suspend its competition worldwide on March 12, when it had become evident that the outbreak was turning into a pandemic.

FIBA had though stated that the events will only resume once conditions allow for it. The governing body also assured the fraternity that it has not stopped preparations for future FIBA competitions. “We are in continuous communication with event hosts and will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis, as well as following the guidance of the World Health Organisation (WHO), public authorities and the FIBA Medical Commission,” states the note.

In the coming weeks, a decision will be made regarding the Basketball Champions League, the Basketball Champions League Americas and the Basketball Africa League, after consultation with the respective leagues and clubs. The same applies to our international competitions suspended at sub-Zone level.