FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, has issued a strong-worded advisory to all participating nations to refrain from competing in the basketball competitions of the 12th South Asian Games to be held here from February 11 to 16.
The advisory has been issued in accordance with the unanimous decision taken by the FIBA Asian Board meeting on January 30, taking cognizance to the unacceptable interference of the Indian Olympic Association in affairs relating to the Basketball Federation of India, duly recognised by the world body.
The two-page advisory dated February 2, 2016 and issued by the FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann to the national basketball federations of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka says “the Indian Olympic Association as well as the State authorities in charge of sport in India have continuously failed to recognise the Basketball Federation of India, duly recognised by FIBA and despite the several correspondences issued to the authorities in India.”
“Accordingly, the Indian Olympic Association has granted to an ad-hoc committee the authority to select the Indian national teams due to compete in this competition in complete violation of FIBA’s decisions and directions. In view of the seriousness of the matter, you are, therefore, requested to refrain from sending any of your national teams to compete in this event.”
Reacting to the letter, the Organising Committee secretary-general, Injeti Srinivas termed the unexpected development as “unfortunate.” “Ever since the matter cropped up, we have been advising the Indian Olympic Association to strike a conciliatory note by taking both the factions of the BFI on board. But they never heeded to our advice and intervention in the matter.”
“It is sad that FIBA has been forced to issue such a communiqué to all participating nations which will now force the cancellation of the competitions of the event for which a great deal of preparations have been made. Anyway, I shall be speaking to the IOA again on how best we can salvage the situation,” he added.
The IOA joint secretary, Rakesh Gupta, when contacted said that he was unaware of any such advisory issued by FIBA. “This is for the first time that I hearing about such an advisory. If any such advisory has been issued, I am sure that we will have an internal discussion on the matter soon enough and come to a conclusion on the way forward.”