altBRITISH BASKETBALL has ended its power struggle with an international ban on English players looming that threaten the team's participation in the 2012 Olympics.


World body Fiba has threatened the ban from June 15, alleging government interference in a member federation.


After Great Britain Basketball (GBB) resigned from the British Olympic Association (BOA), the British Basketball Federation (BBF) is set to take its place.


BBF chairman Bill McInnes said he was "delighted" and hoped it was a sign Fiba's ban would be lifted.


"I'm still hopeful that British teams will operate this summer," he said. "I'm sure there's enough common sense among the authorities involved."

England, Wales and Scotland compete individually at world championships and Commonwealth Games, but are part of a combined Britain team for the Olympics. Northern Ireland is part of Ireland Basketball.
But decision has no direct bearing on the dispute between world governing body FIBA and English Basketball.
FIBA says it will suspend all of the British team's English players because Sport England are withholding funds for the programme.
England has the highest profile men's player of the three countries — Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls.
The issue, which also involves the women's teams, will affect Britain's qualifying for the 2012 Olympics.
FIBA has ruled a British team must qualify for either the 2009 or 2011 European Championships in order to play at the 2012 Olympics to ensure a competitive team.
Normally, a host country will get automatic entry into all sports, but Britain has never qualified a men's or women's team for an Olympic basketball tournament.


GBB, the official body for 35 years, said in a statement it "can no longer claim to represent the best interests of British basketball".


The BFF, formed by the governing bodies of England, Wales and Scotland, is now likely to be recognised by the BOA.


The moves follow the withdrawal of funding from England Basketball, one of the constituent parts of the the BBF, which prompted the Fiba ban that could threaten Britain's place in the 2012 Olympics on home soil.


BOA chief executive Simon Clegg said there was "no higher priority" than ensuring the hosts' participation in the Games.


"With the current uncertainty surrounding the participation of a British team it is important the BOA move quickly to ensure appropriate recognition and support for the best-placed body to oversee the interests of British basketball," he said.


He also praised GBB for taking the decision to step down.


"I am grateful to their leadership for taking this bold move and acting in the best interests of their sport," he said.

"We are extremely grateful for the support and encouragement we have received from Fiba.
"I anticipate having discussions with the British Basketball Federation on this matter in the very near future."