FIBA has ruled that Russia and Belarus are to be excluded from the men’s World Cup qualifiers.

That means Great Britain, who had yet to play Belarus, get a free pass into the Second Round of qualifiers.

Their scheduled home date in Newcastle was called off earlier this year when the UK Government refused to issue entry visas to the Belarussians while the away trip was unilaterally called off when GB’s players refused to travel amid safety concerns.

Puerto Rico will also replace Russia in the autumn’s Women’s World Cup in Australia with basketball’s governing body following others in banning the two nations over their central involvement in a war against Ukraine.

A statement said: “The FIBA Executive Committee today has confirmed the following decisions in regard to the Russian Basketball Federation (RBF) and the Belarusian Basketball Federation (BBF) for FIBA Basketball Competitions that will take place over the coming months.

FIBA’s Executive Committee has decided the following: No FIBA Official Basketball Competitions are to be held in Russia or Belarus until further notice.”


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