Basketball Wales have announced on their website today that they have rejected an offer to merge with other British nations to form a Great Britain Basketball Federation.
This shock news now means that Great Britain's involvement in this summer's Olympic Games could very well be their last tournament as a nation. They would not be invited to next year's Eurobasket in Slovenia as seperate nations (England, Scotland, Wales). Thus meaning that all the hard work put into Great Britain Basketball to make it a notable sport over the last seven years or more will come to nothing, forcing basketball, which is seen as a minor sport in Great Britain back into limbo again.
At the moment, the home nations of England Basketball, Basketball Scotland and Basketball Wales, are all separate entities with independent memberships at FIBA. London won the Olympic bid in 2005, and the three were given special dispensation to compete as Great Britain for the Olympics.
When FIBA granted Great Britain a spot at this summer's Games last March, they gave the home nations a year (June 30 2012) to come together and merge the three federations into one Great British governing body.
It was rumoured that Basketball Scotland were carefully thinking about the merge while England Basketball were on board and Basketball Wales approving the idea without confirming their upcoming plans.
The following quote is taken from Basketball Wales:
After careful consideration, the decision of the Board of Basketball Wales at this time is as follows:
- To continue to promote and encourage a positive relationship with its colleagues involved in basketball in England and Scotland.
- To retain its status as an independent national federation member of FIBA.
- To use its best endeavours, to promote the game of basketball in Wales, to enlarge participation, to make basketball readily available on a social and recreational basis, and to promote an excellence within its elite structure which will enable Wales to participate in international competition at the highest level.
- To provide and implement an ongoing vision and strategy for basketball in Wales and to secure appropriate funding and resources to enable the best advancement of basketball in Wales and the excellence of national teams representing Wales.
Wales are currently playing in Division C of the European Championships.
No comment has been made from British Basketball, England Basketball or Basketball Scotland.