FIBA levies massive fine against Canada Basketball for sitting out qualifiers
'These sanctions were made public prior to notifying our organization of this decision. Consequently, we have not had an opportunity to understand or discuss with FIBA the rationalization'
Canada Basketball is crying foul after being hit with serious sanctions from FIBA, the world governing body, for failing to participate in the AmeriCup 2022 qualifiers against Cuba and the U.S. Virgin Islands last November.
FIBA announced Tuesday that it had fined Canada’s national federation 160,000 CHF, which converts to about $228,000 CDN. Half the amount has been deferred pending Canada’s full participation in the next official competition.
In its official response on Wednesday, Canada Basketball said it was disappointed.
“In the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic that has claimed the lives of over two million people around the world, and infected 96 million more, never did we think we’d be forced to make a decision between the well-being of players and staff, and sanctioning for an inability to safely participate in an international competition,” the organization said in a statement posted to its website.
“Over the course of several months leading into the second window of the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 Qualifiers, Canada Basketball was involved in open and transparent conversations with FIBA over our concerns with the health and safety protocols that had been established for the tournament in Dominican Republic. Canada Basketball stands behind its decision not to participate in the November window of the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 Qualifiers.
“Not only would our participation have directly contradicted the mandates of our federal government, but also the directive of our Chief Medical Officer and other medical professionals throughout Canada’s sport system, including those with Canada Basketball, Sport Canada, Own The Podium, the Return to Sport Task Force, and the Canadian Olympic Committee.
“As a not-for-profit sports organization, a punitive fine of CHF 80,000-160,000 (or approximately $113,998-$227,997 CAD), will have a significant, negative impact on our operational capacity, diverting funds which exist to continue our long-held mandate of growing our game at a grassroots level in Canada, while also funding high performance programs to compete in upcoming international competitions.
“These sanctions were made public prior to notifying our organization of this decision. Consequently, we have not had an opportunity to understand or discuss with FIBA the rationalization for these sanctions.”
FIBA also levied a one-point deduction to Canada for the qualifiers, but again deferred the penalty pending Canada’s full participation in the next competition.
“Canada Basketball will be filing a formal appeal to the FIBA Appeals’ Panel, and in the interim, will continue to work with FIBA, the local organizing committee, as well as our Canadian sport medical professionals to ensure that the health and safety protocols established for the third window of the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 Qualifiers would allow us to safely participate,” the organization said.