FIBA chief to fly to London to back British Basketball funding appeal for Rio 2016

Wednesday, 16 January 2013
By Duncan Mackay

Patrick Baumann signing British Basketball bannerJanuary 16 - British Basketball's attempts to regain their funding for Rio 2016 is set to receive top level backing from Patrick Baumann, the secretary general of FIBA, the world governing body.

Baumann (pictured top) is planning to visit London to support British Basketball when they launch an appeal to UK Sport over the controversial decision reduce the four-year funding of £8.6 million ($13.6 million/€10.6 million) they received in the lead-up London 2012 to zero.

Sports which believe they have been treated unfairly by the cuts can present their cases to the UK Sport Board on January 30 and then launch a formal appeal.

Baumann, who is also an influential member of the International Olympic Committee, believes the decision to cut the funding breaks one of the key promises that was made when FIBA backed a decision to create a single unified British governing body that would receive significant financial backing to help the sport develop. 

"It's not going to be very easy without funding," Baumann told the MVP Ultimate Basketball website

"You can't just replace it with the stroke of a pen.

"It's not easy to find private funding because of the current climate and that will impact on the ability of British Basketball to have the same level of expertise."

Britain's men's team won their first-ever Olympic match when they beat 11th-ranked China 90-58 in their final match at London 2012.

It helped them raise 20 places in the world rankings to 23rd.

The women failed to win a match at London 2012 but still climbed to 24th in the world rankings.

Britain v China basketball London 2012Britain won their first Olympic match ever when they beat China at London 2012

"It [the funding cut] will slow down their momentum," said Baumann.

"And all the work they are doing with the talent programme in the background will have to be sacrificed in favour of the elite team or the other way round.

"Basketball will not die.

"It's a question of whether you will see competitive British teams for the next five years which can effectively compete at the top of European and in world level.

"That's going to be hard."

Baumann will visit Britain tomorrow for the NBA London Live match at the O2 between New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons.

He claims that after the success of London 2012 basketball is booming in Britain.

"It's a pity the authorities, those who have statistics that show this is a promising sport, have lost that faith," Baumann told the MVP Ultimate Basketball website.

Contact the writer of this story at duncan.mackay@insidethegames.biz


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