Spain coach Sergio Scariolo is adamant that his side will compete at the Rio Olympics, despite an international ban by governing body FIBA.
The FEB [Spanish Basketball Federation] pledged its loyalty to Euroleague Basketball, effectively snubbing FIBA and its Champions League brand.
As a result, FIBA suspended the reigning European champions from next year’s Eurobasket, but no official word was given on their ban from this summer’s Rio Games, despite numerous Spanish outlets confirming that they had.
“I can not conceive the Games without the Spanish team that won on the court the right to participate,” Scariolo said to Marca.
“Those who have to work in order to resolve this situation are doing well, We work as if there is no possibility to miss the Olympics.”
Even though Spain will have to fight with FIBA for their right to participate and defend their Eurobasket crown next summer another time, Scariolo is focused on attempting to overcome that final obstacle that has plagued them for two straight Olympic Games now and conquer the seemingly unbeatable USA in Brazil.
The Italian assures all that Spain will be at the Olympics.
“There have been moments of concern for erroneous reports,” he says. “There’s no penalty which exclude us from the Games, it was just a dramatic interpretation of what was happening. All the players with whom I have spoken believe that it’s not possible to be absent from the Games”.