SAG Basketball in Jeopardy
The International Basketball Association(FIBA) has requested all nations participating in the South Asian Games(SAG) to refrain from sending their teams to the basketball event. The event, to be conducted in Shillong and Guwahati is in jeopardy now as FIBA has addressed letters to the federations of Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal and Bangladesh stating that it will not recognize the competition.
The letter says that in view of “unacceptable interference by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in the affairs of the Basketball Federation of India, FIBA is unable to recognize and endorse the basketball competitions of the South-Asian Games scheduled to take place from February 11 to 16, 2016.”Further, it said “the IOA has granted to an Ad-hoc Committee the authority to select the Indian national teams due to participate in this event in complete violation of FIBA’s decisions and directions.”
“In view of the seriousness of this matter, you are therefore requested to refrain from sending any of your national teams to this basketball event.”
This is a huge blow to the IOA and with the controversy surrounding star Indian badminton players wanting to give the event a miss, this development will hurt the reputation of the organizers badly. The IOA and BFI have been at loggerheads for some time now with the former selecting teams for the event and the BFI meanwhile warning the players against attending the training camp conducted by the Olympic Association.
An issue that has been unresolved for too long now, the fight for who holds the authority has been hurting the players. They have no clarity over who’s the boss and are unable to pick a side in fear of a backlash. With Indian basketball growing in stature and popularity recently, controversies like these should be avoided. In a battle for power, the real victims are the athletes. Three days to go for the Games to commence, it remains to be seen whether a basketball event at the SAG will take place.