ISSF Faces 'Urgent Situation' In New Delhi -- Federation Focus

Also: FIBA and NBA launch Basketball Africa League; ASOIF to release "Future of Global Sport" report; Latest IJF film

(ATR)Delegations began arriving for the ISSF World Cup event in New Delhi, India on Wednesday. But the Pakistan team was not among them.

The International Shooting Sport Federation says it "faces an urgent situation" in trying to convince the Indian government to grant entry visas to the Pakistani competitors so that they can take part in the competition, which begins on Saturday.

India is balking at allowing the Pakistanis into the country. India blames Pakistan for a recent terrorist attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir that left 40 Indian paramilitary personnel dead.

The ISSF and the organizing committee for the event want to "avoid the discrimination of the Pakistani team" and say that they are discussing the possibility that India could lose the right to host any future sports competitions should the New Delhi government refuse entry to the Pakistan delegation.

FIBA, NBA Launching Basketball Africa League

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) are teaming up to create the Basketball Africa League (BAL).

The BAL, a new professional league featuring 12 club teams from across Africa, will be built on the foundation of current club competitions FIBA is organizing in Africa. Play is scheduled to begin in January 2020.Former U.S. President Barack Obama, an avid basketball fan, is expected to be involved with the league.

This is the NBA's first collaboration to operate a league outside of North America.

"It's a huge joy to see our partnership with the NBA enter unchartered territory as we work together for the first time to maximize the potential of professional basketball in Africa," said FIBA secretary general Andreas Zagklis.

"This is a natural extension of what we have done through the joint initiative that is Basketball Without Borders (BWB), which helps find, develop and nurture young talented players all around the world, including in Africa. The Basketball Africa League will enable us to build on the solid foundation laid by FIBA Africa and relaunch the continent's club competition to offer the ultimate platform for the very best clubs and players."

Qualification tournaments will be held later this year to determine the 12 teams that would make up the BAL. They will come from several African countries, including Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia, with no more than two teams from the same country able to qualify.

The NBA also announced its plan to introduce a re-imagined direct-to-consumer offering of NBA games for fans in Africa by the start of the 2019-20 NBA season. The offering would include new packages, features and localized content.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said "Combined with our other programs on the continent, we are committed to using basketball as an economic engine to create new opportunities in sports, media and technology across Africa."

ASOIF To Release "Future of Global Sport" Report

The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) will release the main conclusions of its report on the "Future of Global Sport" on Feb. 28.

The research project began in the second quarter of last year. ASOIF recruited "a number of thought leaders from the worlds of sport, business and government to give their views on the changes impacting sport from political, social, technological, legal and economic influences".

ASOIF hopes the information gleaned will help International Federations (IFs) gain a better understanding of what the future might bring before they make a major long-term decision.

The report delves into the challenges being faced by the world of sport, such as changing consumption behaviors and the increasing complexity of staging major IF and multi-sport mega-events.

It will also lay out a vision for the future of sports over the next 20 years including key recommendations for the IFs and for ASOIF itself.

IJF Releases Latest 'Judo for the World' Film

The International Judo Federation is featuring Canada in its latest "Judo for the World" film.

In this episode, the IJF went to great north of Canada to discover that judo is practiced in the most isolated of communities. From there it was off to Montreal, which will host the first Grand Prix in Canada in July, to meet passionate judoka and legends of the sport.

Watch the video here.

Written by Gerard Farek

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