Basketball Wales have rejected the option to merge into a single British basketball federation after the Olympics, putting the future of Great Britain basketball in doubt.
At present, the home nations of Basketball Wales, Basketball Scotland, and England Basketball, are all separate entities with independent membership of FIBA, however, after London won the Olympic bid in 2005, the three were given special dispensation to compete as Great Britain for the Olympics.
This special dispensation ends after the Olympics, and the team’s place at the Olympics was given on the condition it would be decided by June 30 this year on the structure of the sport going forward. FIBA have indicated they will be prepared to register Great Britain as an independent federation and as an independent member of FIBA, but only if Scotland, Wales and England are prepared to relinquish their individual FIBA memberships in favour of a single British basketball federation.
However, in a lengthy statement released on Basketball Wales’ website today, the Welsh board said they intend to retain their independent status:
“After careful consideration, the decision of the Board of Basketball Wales at this time is as follows:
- To continue to promote and encourage a positive relationship with its colleagues involved in basketball in England and Scotland.
- To retain its status as an independent national federation member of FIBA.
- To use its best endeavours, to promote the game of basketball in Wales, to enlarge participation, to make basketball readily available on a social and recreational basis, and to promote an excellence within its elite structure which will enable Wales to participate in international competition at the highest level.
- To provide and implement an ongoing vision and strategy for basketball in Wales and to secure appropriate funding and resources to enable the best advancement of basketball in Wales and the excellence of national teams representing Wales.”
Has self-interest prevailed?
More to come.
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