- National Teams
FIBA General Secretary, Patrick Baumann has described UK Sport’s decision to withdraw all funding from British Basketball as ‘plainly wrong’, via insidethegames.
Baumann believes that more time should have been given to basketball following the Olympics in 2012 and feels the reason was due to ‘a lack of understanding’ on UK Sport’s behalf.
“It’s a challenging sport to invest in but it’s something that can reap a lot of rewards in the country, nationally and then over time,” he said. “For this you need to be investing over time, you cannot stop and they knew that. It cannot stop after the Games.
“That in my opinion is wrong because what we have seen from the British team in both men and women in London was not bad.
“They missed qualification to the quarters by almost nothing, so being for the first time at the Games under the British flag in that sense you have to be extremely proud of what they’ve achieved in such a short time. But then they stop funding and I think that’s a lack of understanding of what it really means to invest in team sports.”
The Swiss IOC member has always publicly supported British Basketball and told insidethegames that he feels ‘it’s only a matter of time’ before GB becomes a strong competitive nation. Baumann also called for a change in the way team-sports are funded
“A team sport is a different ball-game. You cannot be calculated the same way and that needs to change. I think this relationship, one medal versus investment, I think that’s wrong. You cannot calculate this.
“You should consider it as 12 medals and then you can start maybe doing some mathematical models around it. But you have also got to see what it has done for your country, in terms of how it spreads, what the youngsters like, and there is no single statistic that says anything negative about basketball in the UK in particular, quite the contrary.”
The future is bleak for British Basketball and chairman Roger Moreland admitted last month that GB may not survive past the end of 2014.