Thursday, 4 February 2010

Delhi Commonwealth Basketball championship cancelled

This year's Commonwealth Basketball Championships, due to be staged in New Delhi in August, have been cancelled by the world governing body, FIBA.

The decision comes just two weeks after FIBA had written to Keith Mair, chief executive of England Basketball, to confirm that a men's tournament would be staged in the Indian capital.

The tournament was not directly connected with the Commonwealth Games, which are being held in India for the first time in October.

Although the scrapping of the tournament represents a set-back to the Indian organisers and those players hoping to compete, FIBA stressed that the cancellation had nothing to do with concerns about facilities, organisation or security - three issues which have blighted the build-up to the Delhi Games.

Basketball has only been included in the Commonwealth Games once, in Melbourne four years ago where teams from eight countries, including England and Scotland, competed in men's and women's tournaments.

Both Gold medals were won by Australia, with England's men and women taking the bronze medals.

Although Australia are understood to have requested delaying the Commonwealth tournament until 2011, FIBA blamed a crowded international programme for its decision.

"The major national federations of the Commonwealth have experienced difficulty with the scheduling of the national team programmes as Australia, Canada and New Zealand have all qualified for the FIBA world championship in Turkey while England - as part of Great Britain - will compete in the European championships qualification series," said a spokesman.

But Mair expressed his disappointment at the scrapping of the tournament, which England Basketball had wanted to use for players not included in the Great Britain squad.

There are no plans for the sport to be contested at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.


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