By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – While Brazil’s national team (Seleção) in football (soccer) is gearing up for a deep run in the 2018 Russia World Cup, the Seleção’s basketball team will continue to remain in sports limbo until late June at the earliest.
Following a meeting of its Central Board in Hong Kong on Wednesday, May 3rd, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), basketball’s leading international governing body, announced that Brazil would continue to be banned from all international basketball competitions.
FIBA organizes all of basketball’s major international competitions, including the Basketball World Cup and the Olympic Basketball Tournament.
After Wednesday’s meeting, the Board said that it had reevaluated Brazil’s suspension, which began in November 2016. But, while FIBA acknowledged the efforts made by Brazil’s basketball governing body, the Confederação Brasileira de Basquete (CBB), to correct the problems that led to the suspension, it concluded that the ban would continue until the Board’s next meeting on June 21st.
“The Central Board confirmed the suspension but acknowledged the efforts of the new CBB management and will issue a new deadline by which time the CBB will have the opportunity to provide updated information on its actions in order to resolve the governance, finance and sporting problems,” said a FIBA spokesperson on Wednesday. “The Executive Committee will evaluate any new facts at its next meeting on June 21st when it will decide on appropriate measures.”
As it stands, the suspension precludes Brazil from playing in the next major international basketball event, the FIBA AmeriCup 2017, to be hosted jointly by Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay. However, with that tournament scheduled to begin on August 25th, the Seleção’s participation hinges on the outcome of FIBA’s June Board meeting.
So far, in addition to the host countries, competing in the FIBA AmeriCup 2017 will be Canada, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, and tournament favorites, the United States.
Brazil’s ban from international basketball began in November 2016. Among the reasons FIBA cited for the suspension at that time were Brazil’s non-participation in international competitions, including the cancellation of the 3×3 World Tour and other important national youth tournaments.
FIBA also noted at that time that “the overall financial situation of CBB” also played a part in the suspension.