THE INTERNATIONAL Basketball Federation (Fiba) slapped a four-year suspension on Lebanon and upheld its decision to ban the country from the 27th Fiba Asia Championship on Aug. 1 to 11 at MOA Arena.
Fiba upheld its July 11 decision after seeing no improvement on the conflict hounding Lebanon’s basketball federation.
“The governance issues affecting basketball in Lebanon are much deeper and much more serious than the mere absence of proper appeal and disciplinary regulations within your statutes. Accordingly, we are regretfully not in a position to reconsider our decision on July 11, 2013, and the Lebanese basketball federation remains suspended, ” said Fiba in a statement.
The head of Lebanon’s Olympic Committee also said Fiba has suspended Lebanon’s basketball federation for four years because of political bickering between two clubs.
Jean Hammam also admitted Lebanon will be prevented from taking part in the Fiba Asia, according to the state-run National News Agency yesterday.
Basketball is one of Lebanon’s most popular sports, and top clubs are owned or funded by politicians, including the president’s family and Cabinet ministers.
Fiba earlier stripped Lebanon this year of the hosting rights for the Asian championship, because of the conflict in neighboring Syria.
Lebanon’s national team, a perennial contender after placing first runner-up thrice in the last six Asian championships, is already in town way ahead of the tournament.
“It is unfortunate that Lebanon will not be able to participate,” said Sonny Barrios, executive director of the organizing Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Inc. With a report from AP