Lebanon officially out of Asian Championships as Fiba upholds suspension
MANILA, Philippines — The International Basketball Federation upheld its decision to suspend Lebanon on Friday, leaving its national team, who are already in the country, with no choice but to fly back home.
Despite an appeal from Lebanon, the sport’s highest governing body affirmed its July 11 decision of suspension, citing the federation’s failure to put its internal affairs in order within FIBA’s deadline.
That means that Lebanon is barred from participating in international events, including the upcoming 2013 Fiba Asia Championships from August 1-11, which is hosted by the Philippines.
Before Friday, the Lebanon team was still hoping that FIBA would reconsider its decision.
Thus, the Lebanese national team opted to fly straight here to train early coming off their Jones Cup conquest.
“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,” said FIBA in a statement.
“Despite your attempts and those of the FIBA Asia secretary-general within the past few days to find solutions to these issues, the situation remains highly unstable,” the statement added.
The current FIBA Asia secretary general is Hagop Khajirian, who is a Lebanese.
In a report by Associated Press, the head of Lebanon’s Olympic Committee said that the suspension is up to four years.
And not only does Lebanon’s non-inclusion mean one less powerhouse among the competitors in the continental tournament, but also one less participant.
FIBA Asia has stated there will be no other invitee, leaving Group B with just three teams namely Qatar, Japan and Hong Kong.