Australia opts out of basketball World Cup qualifier in Iran

Australia was due to play in Tehran on Tuesday but opted to stay away after securing its spot at next year’s World Cup with a dominant 97-50 thrashing of Kazakhstan.

REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE: Australia has played in all but one of the past 13 World Cups.

REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE: Australia has played in all but one of the past 13 World Cups. | Photo Credit: GETTY IMAGES

Australia was due to play in Tehran on Tuesday but opted to stay away after securing its spot at next year’s World Cup with a dominant 97-50 thrashing of Kazakhstan.

Australia Saturday pulled out of a men’s basketball World Cup qualifier in Iran next week following a risk assessment, amid fears over player safety.

The Boomers were due to play in Tehran on Tuesday but opted to stay away after securing their spot at next year’s World Cup with a dominant 97-50 thrashing of Kazakhstan.

“Basketball Australia conducted a thorough risk assessment in conjunction with relevant authorities and as a result will not be sending any teams into Iran at this time,” the governing body said.

The Australian government currently warns that “protests continue around the country and there’s been an increase in the number of foreign nationals arrested”.

“Do not travel to Iran as the security situation remains volatile and there’s a high risk you could be arbitrarily detained or arrested,” it advises.

Protests have gripped the country since the death of young Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini following her arrest for allegedly flouting the country’s strict dress code for women.

Australian shooting guard Dejan Vasiljevic said the players backed the decision.

“Honestly, we are happy not playing in Iran, just with all the chaos and protests going on,” he told the Melbourne Herald Sun from Kazakhstan.

“As much as we all wanted to play another game for our country, there was no security and assurance for us, so BA made the right choice.”

Australia has played in all but one of the past 13 World Cups.

The tournament next year is co-hosted by the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.

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