FIBA Europe has confirmed that Scotland is the only country not to enter European competition next year, heaping further embarrassment on the sport’s governing body.

With Ireland and Iceland, who have both suffered from financial problems, returning at under-age level, Basketball Scotland’s decision to opt out of 2011 has left them alone in the continent.

“Other than Scotland, there were no federations from the ones that were represented in the 2010 youth tournaments that chose not to take part in 2011,” a FIBA Europe official stated.

The controversial decision has come under further fire with former national coach Allan Turner calling for the sport’s current bosses to quit.

Turner, who led the national men’s side for nine years during one of its most successful era, says the idea is an admission of failure from the current regime.

MVP understands that the pull-out was sanctioned by chief executive Kevin Pringle without approval from the governing body’s board.

And with the deadline for entry now passed, Turner believes the plan leaves the country’s best prospects with nothing to play for.

“I’m very disappointed,” he said. “There’s been a long downturn in Basketball Scotland’s ability to promote international basketball but this is the final straw.

“I’m not privy to how the decision was taken but there’s a real feeling of doom now. If there’s no aspiration to be the best, what is the point?”

Despite the tactic, Sportscotland have confirmed that the sport will not see its funding reduced next year.

In figures obtained by MVP, Basketball Scotland will receive £400,325 in the 12-month period ending next July, of which £211,000 is ear-marked for ‘performance development’.

However, that backing from the public purse is set to remain at the same level.

“We have held discussions with them and we think they’re taking a long-term view which is about sustainable development,” said a Sportscotland spokesperson.

“We will continue to invest in basketball although next year’s level will not be known until our own budgets are set.”

In its operating plan, the £211,000 slice is ear-marked for development “up to elite level”, as well as increasing player and club numbers. It also comprises building activity within schools basketball, as well as its national squad programmes.

“We set targets for 2009-10 and they were met,” the Sportscotland spokesperson confirmed.

Turner, though, believes it may be time for the quango to intervene and closely examine the way the sport is being run at a time when proposals to move to a UK-wide entity to run the game are under consideration.

“Basketball Scotland shouldn’t be able to take a decision like this without speaking to the coaches they’re about to isolate,” he insisted.

“It looks like there is no alternative plan. It’s ridiculous to go back on every plan they’ve written in the past ten years. It just says they have failed and that’s something Sportscotland should look at.”

His calls for action have been echoed by one long-time Basketball Scotland director, Paul Wheelen, who alleged that there have been prior moves made without board approval.

“This is not the first time it’s happened,” he claimed.

“I think there have to be serious questions asked. What will have to happen is for the senior clubs to get together and initiate change. But the problem is that they’ve always struggled to agree on anything.”

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