A deal to retain a single Great Britain basketball team after this summer’s Olympics is now under the threat of collapse after Basketball Wales rejected a proposal to create a new federal structure for the sport in this country.

Their board, which met in mid-week, confirmed that they will not agree to sign up to plans to formally link with British Basketball in a new umbrella organisation that would see single British sides fielded post-2016 at all levels while retaining the home nations’ control over much of their existing development activities.

Their principal objection is that a merger would restrict rather than enhance the international opportunities of Welsh players in the future, and that the Principality derives no income from the GB programme. Wales currently play at Small Nations / Division C level within Europe and receive no funding from Sport Wales.

It is understood that England Basketball will back the plans while Basketball Scotland’s board will meet next week to decide on its position, following a request for additional information.

FIBA had set a deadline on June 30 to decide on Britain’s position, having ordered the three countries to make up their minds on whether to give up their separate memberships of the world governing body and unite as a pre-condition for awarding GB as host spot at London 2012.

“The result from Wales is disappointing but not unexpected,” said GB performance director Chris Spice told The Daily Telegraph. “This is the start of what could be a long process and the key requirement we need to focus on is that FIBA insist that we be under one governing body by 2016. We have four years’ grace on that and there is a long way to go yet.

MVP understands that British Basketball officials could still seek FIBA’s approval to achieve a compromise plan if Scotland join with England. However a rejection would likely leave the deal dead in the water, ending the existence of Great Britain at the end of the Olympics.

FIBA secretary-general Patrick Baumann told MVP earlier this year that they would withdraw GB’s place at EuroBasket 2013 in the event of a separation.

“Unexpectedly Basketball Wales has already intimated to FIBA its Board’s resolution,” said British Basketball Federation chair Bill McInnes.

“Although its resolution not to support affiliation through the British Basketball Federation was anticipated, the final consideration by FIBA awaits the resolutions from England and Scotland which will be notified to FIBA by 30th June 2012.”

No-one from Basketball Wales was available to comment.

However their statement reads that they will:

1. To continue to promote and encourage a positive relationship with its colleagues involved in basketball in England and Scotland.
2. To retain its status as an independent national federation member of FIBA.
3. To use its best endeavours, to promote the game of basketball in Wales, to enlarge participation, to make basketball readily available on a social and recreational basis, and to promote an excellence within its elite structure which will enable Wales to participate in international competition at the highest level.
4. To provide and implement an ongoing vision and strategy for basketball in Wales and to secure appropriate funding and resources to enable the best advancement of basketball in Wales and the excellence of national teams representing Wales

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