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Senegal welcome newly built Dakar Arena

DIAMNIADIO - Senegal sports personalities, members of the public and political figures last week flocked to Diamniadio for the inauguration of a modern 15,000-seat Dakar Arena.

Built by Turkish investors in partnership with the Senegalese authorities, the Dakar Arena comes to fill a void left by the lack of modern sports facilities in the country.

Located in Diamniadio - 30 kilometers from the capital city of Dakar - the new arena will accommodate - among other sports - basketball, volleyball, martial arts and handball. 

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Addressing the crowd, Macky Sall - President of Senegal said: "This arena is a response to the promise I made to our national women's basketball team in the wake of her victory as an African champion [2015 FIBA Women's AfroBasket], and here we are today, Dakar Arena is for you basketball world."


"I hope to provide the country with the best infrastructure in the sports sector, transport with the Regional Express Train, Air Senegal International with, soon, the latest generation of aircraft, but also, university and school infrastructure," Sall added.


In the meantime, Turkey Minister of Youth and Sports Mehmet Kasapoglu acknowledged that "Senegal and Turkey maintain a relationship of brotherhood and friendship that is based on human sensitivities that will become stronger."

An official statement describes the new arena as "a multifunctional sports complex, designed to accommodate more than 15,000 spectators in the best conditions of comfort and safety."

In the process, President of the Senegalese Basketball Federation (FSB), Babacar Ndiaye, announced that he asked the country's president for permission to submit a bid to FIBA Africa to host the FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2019.