14 NATIONS GIVEN FIBA BANS

FIBA has suspended 14 countries from international play in its battle to gain control of European basketball.

Macedonia, who were set to be among Great Britain’s opponents in this summer’s EuroBasket qualifiers, are among a group that also includes Spain, Greece, Russia and Serbia, who have been told their right to participate in major senior men’s competitions has been withdrawn.

The list, in a move that could turn EuroBasket 2017 into a farce, also includes primary hosts Turkey and co-hosts Israel.

In a letter to the Slovenian federations, published by Yugobasket, FIBA’s European chief Kamil Novak claims the ban has been put into effect for those nations supporting the Euroleague rather than ordering their clubs to take part in FIBA’s new Basketball Champions League.

The European Commission has already asked by both feuding parties to rule on each other’s anti-competitive practices but will now effectively be asked to rule whether the suspensions are legal.

Swiss-based FIBA – whose membership is made up of national governing bodies – is expected to formally ratify the sanctions but it is yet unclear whether they would also apply to this summer’s Olympic Games or its pre-qualification tournaments.

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