By Paul Osborne

Japan are yet to be suspended by FIBA despite no merger between its two basketball leagues after deadline ©Getty ImagesJapan has avoided suspension by the International Basketball Association (FIBA) despite failing to merge its leagues by the October 31 deadline as basketball's world governing body reviews an activity reported handed in by the Japan Basketball Association (JBA).

The JBA had been given until the end of last month to merge its two leagues - the bj-league and National Basketball League of Japan – and follow other strict criteria, or risk facing suspension from basketball's world governing body.

No merger has been established between the two leagues with the deadline been and gone, yet the JBA is yet to receive a suspension from FIBA.

According to a spokesperson at the organisation, the JBA handed FIBA an activity report prior to the deadline, meaning no decision will be taken on the matter before a review of the information is made.

"I confirm that no decision has been issued against the Japanese Basketball Association (JBA)," a statement to insidethegames read.

"JBA is therefore not suspended from FIBA at the moment.

"FIBA has just received an activity report from JBA within the deadline granted to them so that we will now review the information contained therein before any decision is made on their status."

Patrick Baumann had told insidethegames in September that the JBA must meet specific criteria by October 31 or face suspension ©FIBAPatrick Baumann had told insidethegames in September that the JBA must meet specific criteria by October 31 or face suspension ©FIBA

Patrick Baumann, secretary general of FIBA had told insidethegames in September that the JBA must meet three specific criteria by October 31 in order to avoid a ban from international competition and potentially miss out on the Tokyo 2022 Olympic Games.

"They have to do three things, they have to merge a league, but they have to do it concretely so we have to really see concrete evidence of how it will work competition format and things," Baumann, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee, said.

"They have to merge; have to sign contracts and agreements between the two sides so that they simple get together.

"Then they have to change a few things in the governance of the one federation because basketball has good potential of being a good league in the country, there's no reason why it shouldn't be better than it is today but for this they need to change a little bit of the decision making mechanism; who are the members and how they deal with the professionalism of the clubs, and then they have to present a proper sports plan for around 2024.

"Because 2020 is behind the door.

"These are their three tasks and we gave them a deadline until October 31 so it's up to them, and now we are pushing really hard so there is really a lot of pressure from our side and they know that at the end of the day what is at stake is to qualify for the Group A in 2017 which then allows them to go to Tokyo so they feel the pressure."

With the impending threat of suspension vying ever closer, JBA President Yasuhiko Fukatsu resigned from his role, taking full responsibility for the lack of merger between Japan's two leading basketball leagues.

Following Fukatsu's resignation, acting President Mitsuru Maruo remained optimistic that Japan would resolve its problems, including the unification of the two leagues, and claimed Baumann had told him weeks before not to rush into making a new professional league, despite the impending deadline from FIBA.

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