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FIBA statement regarding independent Integrity Officer report on allegations of systemic sexual harassment within the Mali Basketball Federation
Following several allegations of systemic sexual harassment within the Mali Basketball Federation (FMBB) received on June 10, the report of the independent Integrity Officer has been delivered to FIBA.
In addition to the suspension on June 14 of coach Amadou Bamba, coach Oumar Sissoko, official Hario Maiga and on July 23 of FMBB President Harouna Maiga, after carefully reviewing the document and following the recommendation of the Integrity Officer, FIBA will be issuing additional suspensions against three other members of the FMBB, pending the opening of disciplinary proceedings: coach Fanta Diallou, Secretary General Seydou Maiga and Vice President Amadou Traore. Further decisions will be taken in due course by the competent FIBA bodies.
FIBA confirms that the independent report does not provide any evidence that supports the allegations that FIBA President Hamane Niang knew or should have known about the sexual abuses in the Mali Basketball Federation.
Based on this conclusion, the FIBA President has issued the following statement: "This investigation is of paramount importance and I would like to express my personal and unconditional support to the victims. These offences must be duly prosecuted by FIBA through independent procedures. Since the Integrity Officer has confirmed my innocence, I will now resume my official duties with FIBA."
The full report can be found here.
Since June, FIBA has taken numerous steps after receiving those allegations to immediately establish a safeguard and protection service for the players of the U19 and U16 women's teams from Mali. Below is a list of the activities that took place in the last three months as an emergency response to U19 and U16 female players' situation.
- Recruitment of a local partner in Mali recognized for their true involvement in Human Rights.
- Development of procedures to report safeguarding incidents.
- Coordination with professional stakeholders for the protection of identified survivors and players, including the recruitment of a case manager and appointment of a psychologist and a law firm.
- Organization of psychosocial activities and educational discussion groups during the training camp for 29 players from the U19 and U16 female teams.
- Accompaniment and support of the players of the U19 and U16 women's teams during their trip to Hungary (FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup 2021) and in Egypt (FIBA U16 Women's African Championship).
- Establishment of protection services and support for survivors of abuse.
The following measures will be implemented in Mali in the months ahead, concerning Youth and Senior female players:
- Continuation of the protection of survivors with regular follow-up.
- Training of Officers, Volunteers (coaches, doctors, FMBB supervisors) on the protection and safeguarding of children and young athletes in the world of sport.
- Support for the FMBB for the establishment of a safeguarding procedure and the development of an action plan within it, aimed at ensuring the protection and safeguarding of players.
- Prevention and raising awareness activities on safeguarding, through recommendations for strengthening the safeguarding procedures in place for U16 and U19 female players and extending it to basketball players beyond Malian national teams.
- Organization of a national workshop bringing together sports players, Malian authorities in charge of sport, civil society organizations and key people to raise awareness about safeguarding in sports and carry out systematic advocacy on issues related to the protection of children in sports activities.
FIBA reiterates its firm position against harassment and abuse in basketball and extends its heartfelt compassion for victims of such conduct.
In addition, FIBA, together with its Players Commission and its partners, will launch a global players safeguarding initiative, which aims to educate and protect players from abuse in basketball. The initiative will be presented for approval by the Central Board in November 2021.
Until then, FIBA will make no further comment on this matter.