The Federation International de Basketball Association (FIBA) will not lift the indefinite suspension it imposed on Lebanon, quashing the country’s hope to participate in the FIBA-Asia Men’s Basketball Championship starting Aug. 1 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“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 of July 11, 2013, and the Lebanese basketball federation remains suspended,” a statement released by FIBA said.
“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.
“Your federation was not and still is not properly armed to face political interference and solve
sporting disputes within its own structures,” FIBA told the Lebanese basketball federation.
The Lebanese team, which is bracketed in Group B along with Japan, Qatar and Hong Kong, arrived in Manila last week to start preparations for the tournament.
The Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star quoted national team committee member Jean Mamo as saying that they have already booked a return flight and will arrive in Beirut on Saturday.
“It is unfortunate that Lebanon will not be able to participate. We feel sorry for the team which is in Manila early as part of its preparation for the championship. We can only wish them well and hope for positive developments in the future,” said Sonny Barrios, executive director of the organizing Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, Inc.
FIBA-Asia said there will be no substitute for Lebanon, leaving Group B with just three teams.
Host Philippines is bracketed in Group A with Chinese-Taipei, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
Iran is in Group C with China, South Korea and Malaysia. In Group D are Kazakshtan, India,
Bahrain and Thailand.