Indian basketball team’s Dubai trip cancelled

The Basketball Federation of India had conducted a 10-day national camp for the players in Mangalore, from February 3 till Saturday, for the Dubai event, but after waiting unsuccessfully for the visas for the last two days, the team was told on Saturday night that the trip was off.

A file photo of India's A. Arvind (Blue), in action against Bhutan, during the South Asian Basketball Championship (SABA)   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

After the cancellation of the basketball event at the South Asian Games, there was another huge disappointment for the hoopsters as the Indian men’s team’s trip to Dubai for an international tournament that had to be cancelled at the last minute.

The Basketball Federation of India had conducted a 10-day national camp for the players in Mangalore, from February 3 till Saturday, for the Dubai event, but after waiting unsuccessfully for the visas for the last two days, the team was told on Saturday night that the trip was off.

“The players were all very disappointed, some of them were in tears,” said a source from the national camp.

The tournament began in Dubai on Saturday evening and the players were waiting for some positive news till the last minute but there was only disappointment at the end.

“The tournament was a private one, not a federation tournament. And like the IPL, each team is owned by some person. The person who was supposed to have sponsored might have backed out. I think that is the reason,” K. Govindaraj, the BFI President, told Sportstar over phone.

“So far, the visas have not come and we have not yet received any information,”

The basketball event at the South Asian Games, in Guwahati, was cancelled at the last minute after the world body FIBA sent an advisory to South Asian countries to refrain from playing in the Games.

The FIBA was forced to act after the Indian Olympic Committee selected the Indian men’s and women’s teams for the SAG. The national teams are supposed to be picked by the national federation and in India’s case by the BFI, which is recognised as the official body for the country.