By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Distressing news for Brazilian basketball fans as on Monday, November 14th, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) released a statement indicating it has suspended Brazil’s Confederação Brasileira de Basketball (CBB) from participating in any FIBA-sanctioned international events, which would include the Olympics and the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
FIBA, basketball’s international governing body composed of over two hundred basketball federations around the world, said its executive committee had taken the punitive measure against the CBB for “not fully complying with its obligations” as a member of the sport’s governing body.
In the statement, FIBA said its executive committee “expressed its regret for the situation of basketball in Brazil just a few months after the Olympic Games.”
According to the Swiss-based organization, longstanding issues such as the CBB’s finances led to the suspension. “The overall financial situation of CBB does not permit it to finance its operations or to be in good standing in its country,” said FIBA, citing “serious institutional, sporting and financial difficulties”.
According to FIBA, the CBB has failed to finance its own basketball operations, missed international competitions, canceled national youth championships and did not organize a 3×3 World Tour event in Rio de Janeiro. As a result of Brazil’s inability to organize these events, “a high number of players have already been affected by these absences, since they have missed the opportunity to qualify and play internationally in the upcoming years.
FIBA claimed it had tried to work with the CBB to organize a taskforce to resolve these issues but the attempts were futile. However, the organization left a glimmer of hope for Brazilian basketball fans saying it would re-evaluate the suspension at its next committee meeting on January 28.
In response, the CBB issued a statement declaring “surprise” at the decision since a FIBA representative visited Brazil earlier this month and made no mention of the infractions. However, the CBB indicated it would make an announcement on Wednesday, November 16th, addressing each of FIBA’s allegations.