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FIBA Europe President Demirel visits launch of joint basketball league between Albania and Kosovo

TIRANA (Albania) - FIBA Europe President Turgay Demirel visited Tirana for the launch of the joint basketball league between the Albanian Basketball Federation (FSHB) and the Kosovo Basketball Federation (FBK), which marks a new step for basketball development in both countries.

The agreement was signed by the President of FSHB, Mr. Avni Ponari and the President of FBK, Mr. Arben Fetahu on Thursday, in the presence of Mrs. Besa Shahini, Minister of Education, Sports and Youth in Albania and Mrs. Vlora Dumoshi, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports of Kosovo.

Also present at the ceremony was the Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania, Mr. Edi Rama, who unveiled the logo of the UNIQA League.

"It is a great pleasure to be here in Tirana for the launch of the new basketball league along with such distinguished guests," said FIBA Europe President Mr. Demirel.

"I believe this joint initiative holds great promise and will not only set a new standard for club basketball in Albania and Kosovo, but also benefit the national teams of both countries down the road. It is always satisfying to see our National Federations working hand in hand for the good of the game, especially with such ambitious projects as the UNIQA League. I want to congratulate both Presidents, Mr. Ponari and Mr. Fetahu, as well as their teams, for the hard work they have put in to bring this idea to life."

The UNIQA League will be conducted together with the national leagues and will be integrated with them in terms of calendars and results.

Set to commence this year, the newly-established competition will feature the best-ranked clubs from the domestic championships, and will aim to provide an internationally competitive environment for the participating teams and promote competitiveness between the clubs, while providing international games for domestic players.

"This is a mature project, supported by the basketball communities of our countries and our big international family, FIBA. I have to deeply thank Mr. Demirel, for being present in this special event, as a support to our development programs and projects. His approach to our initiative and federations is a motivation for us," said Mr. Avni Ponari, the President of the Albanian Basketball Federation.

Mr. Arben Fetahu, the President of the Kosovo Basketball Federation, was happy that the big project was finally being completed. "I am very emotional on this day, when we are finalizing the unique basketball league. I would like to thank everyone for their support to this league, which I believe will be special," he said.

The cooperation and financing agreement of the UNIQA League was signed between FSHB and FBK for a period of four years with the possibility of extension.