By Paul Osborne

Patrick Baumann has said UK Sports decision to strip British Basketball of funding was plainly wrong Getty ImagesInternational Basketball Federation secretary general Patrick Baumann has said UK Sport's decision to strip British Basketball of funding was "plainly wrong" and not in line with the commitment they made before London 2012.

Baumann, who had expressed his disappointment over UK Sport's decision to withdraw the £7 million ($11.5 million/€8.5 million) of Olympic funding when the announcement was made in February, told insidethegames that although the body has the right to decide where it invests its funds, he believes basketball was not given enough time to begin reaping the rewards of continued investment.

"They have criteria and most likely they went through those criteria and said, 'okay, medal perspective difficult so no funding'," said Baumann.

"It's part of the process they have done but I think the key is two things.

"One is that they knew well in advance, when you get the Games in 2005 for 2012 you know there are sports that require time, they knew basketball was one of them.

"It's a challenging sport to invest in but it's something that can reap a lot of rewards in the country, nationally and then over time.

"For this you need to be investing over time, you cannot stop and they knew that.

"That [funding] cannot stop after the Games.

"That in my opinion is wrong because what we have seen from the British team in both men and women in London was not bad.

"They missed qualification to the quarters by almost nothing, so being for the first time at the Games under the British flag in that sense you have to be extremely proud of what they've achieved in such a short time.

"But then they stop funding and I think that's a lack of understanding of what it really means to invest in team sports.

"But to some extent it's a little bit, to express it in a nice way, they did not really keep the idea that it's up to Rio and I think that's a little bit frustrating when you think in those terms."

British Basketball saw its funding cut entirely after failing to meet specific criteria set by UK Sport ©Getty ImagesBritish Basketball saw its funding cut entirely after failing to meet specific criteria set by UK Sport ©Getty Images

Baumann explained that the decision was also based on the DNA of bodies such as UK Sport who invest in sports and have a different relationship with team sports.

Bringing up the subject of team sport investment, Baumann questioned the methods used to measure success when compared to individual sports, stating that gold in basketball should be seen as 12 gold medals, not just one.

"They [the investors] know if they invest there is an expectation and there are some correlations, sometimes it just doesn't work but generally you see this link," Baumann explained.

"A team sport is a different ball-game.

"You cannot be calculated the same way and that needs to change.

"I think this relationship, one medal versus investment, I think that's wrong.

"You cannot calculate this.

"You should consider it as 12 medals and then you can start maybe doing some mathematical models around it.

"But you have also got to see what it has done for your country, in terms of how it spreads, what the youngsters like, and there is no single statistic that says anything negative about basketball in the UK in particular, [it is] quite the contrary."

Baumann still believes that Britain has the potential to be a competitive basketball nation, "it's just a matter of time".

He did, however, emphasise his "frustration" at the cuts and said British Basketball now needs to run at "a low fire" and figure out how to find their own revenue.

He added: "It's a little bit of a necessary wake up call for them on one hand but still they shouldn't just drop it to zero.

"It's plainly wrong."

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