Canada Basketball upset after receiving massive fine for refusing to travel during pandemic

Jan 20 2021, 5:05 pm

Canada Basketball has responded to their FIBA sanctions.

In November of 2020, due to concerns surrounding the global pandemic, Canada decided to not send its team to games against Cuba on November 29 and the US Virgin Islands on November 30, which were in the second window of the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 Qualifiers.

On January 19, 2021, the FIBA Disciplinary Panel decided to place sanctions on Canada for their failure to show up to the event. Their punishment was approximately $227,396 CAD, with half of the sanction ($113,684) being deferred until Canada Basketball fully complies with its participation obligation in the next FIBA official competition. They also received a one-point deduction in the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 Qualifiers standings.

Canada Basketball was not pleased.

“In the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 2 million people around the world, and infected 96 million more, never did we think we’d be forced to make a decision between the wellbeing of players and staff,” Canada Basketball said in a statement.

“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.”

The organization also adds that the decision was made public without their knowledge and has not discussed with FIBA the rationale behind the sanctions that will have terrible repercussions for the organization.

“As a not-for-profit sports organization, a punitive fine 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.”

However, they say that they stand by their decision not to attend and will be filing an appeal to the FIBA Appeals’ Panel.

The third window of the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 Qualifiers will occur on February 18-22, 2021. The top three teams at the qualifying tournament will advance to the FIBA AmeriCup scheduled to take place next September.

Canada still hopes to qualify for the Tokyo Summer Olympics in men’s basketball this summer, with the last-chance qualifying tournament taking place in Victoria. Our women’s national team qualified in February of last year.

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