- National Teams
FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann has called UK Sport’s decision to cut British Basketball’s funding to zero “incomprehensible”.
Despite the record funding for Olympic and Paralympic athletes that was announced on December 18th in the run up to 2016, British Basketball was left in the dark, seeing their funding cut to zero, in comparison to the more than £8million they received for the previous Olympic cycle.
In a letter written to Lord Coe, the chairman of the British Olympic Association, that was leaked to The Times Newspaper, he said:
“Obviously much work needs to be done by the UK basketball community but to cut the funding to zero seems to me an incomprehensible decision and a brutal reversal for all those who worked so hard to reach the Games in London, which was clearly only the start of a long journey towards Rio and 2020.”
The Times also stated that Baumann has written to Hugh Robertson, the sports minister, and Baroness Campbell, chairman of UK Sport, to protest the decision.
Since the leaked letter Baumann has said he plans to personally attend the British Basketball appeal to UK Sport, scheduled for January 30th, and speaking to the Daily Mail he said:
“It would be a waste of resources and time (to uphold the funding cut). Whether you can recover from a blow like this depends on how quickly you can refinance yourselves, but in this climate it is very difficult to do.
“We’ve kept our part of the bargain, not only the basketball family internationally but also the basketball family in the UK. It’s a pity the authorities don’t believe in the promise of the sport even though they have seen the statistics.”
Baumann becomes the latest big name to speak out against UK Sport, joining Sir Clive Woodward who called the decision “completely baffling”.
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