Japanese Basketball Association suspended by FIBA

The Japanese Basketball Association has been suspended by FIBA for a failure to deliver on several requests to change the structure of the game in Japan ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games, which will be be held in Tokyo.

FIBA announced their decision earlier today and issued a press release that was distributed to the media.

FIBA on Wednesday announced the suspension of the Japanese Basketball Association (JBA) following the conclusion of its two-day Executive Committee meeting held on Monday-Tuesday.

The FIBA Executive Committee found that the JBA has been and currently remains unable to deliver on FIBA’s requests to:
– Restructure the JBA to ensure it is fully functional under FIBA’s General Statutes.
– Merge the existing two leagues into one that operates under the JBA and plays the game in accordance with the Official Basketball Rules across the country.
– Present a concrete sporting plan for the national teams (men and women) beyond 2020.

As a result of the suspension and in accordance with FIBA’s General Statutes, the JBA forfeits its rights as a national member federation of FIBA and cannot participate in any activities (sporting or otherwise) of FIBA and FIBA Asia.

FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann said: “FIBA regrets that the situation has reached such a point of no return. However, we are convinced that after so many years of warnings and struggle, and for the good of basketball in Japan, it is absolutely time to make important changes to the structures of the JBA and of the domestic competitions in order to fully comply with FIBA’s General Statutes and also to embrace the opportunity that the 2020 Olympic Games will provide to basketball in Japan. We want a successful Tokyo 2020 basketball tournament with the participation of the Japanese men’s and women’s national teams.”

The recent resignation of Yasuhiko Fukatsu as President of the JBA and of Mitsuru Maruo as President of the National Basketball League (NBL) are clear signs of the difficulties the JBA leadership has faced.

In view of this, FIBA’s Executive Committee has therefore decided to send a FIBA delegation to Japan to set up a Task Force that will be in charge of guiding the JBA through these difficult times and implement the necessary reforms.

“We believe that basketball has great potential to become one of the leading sports in Japan, especially in view of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It is time to prepare for it without the ‘heavy luggage’ of past history and failed reforms, but instead with a strong vision toward the future for the benefit of all who love the game. We count on all basketball stakeholders to participate in the much-needed reform process that will be led by the Task Force,” said Baumann.

Basketball writer Takashi Aoki, who resides in Japan believes that the suspension has both positive and negative sides to it. He says that that the women’s national side, who competed at the recent world championships for women will be the worst affected from this.

“It’s really unfortunate for the women’s side for future tournaments, such as the Rio Olympics, as they had a chance of qualifying,” Aoki said.

“The junior teams will also miss out on these great upcoming opportunities. But on the other side, the entire Japanese basketball family will come together and help to make basketball in Japan credible and prepare us for the Tokyo Olympics. FIBA are thinking long term, it’s on the JBA to work with FIBA to make Japanese basketball a future force.”

Photo: FIBA