British Basketball has failed in its appeal with UK Sport over funding cuts it was announced today.
This now means that Great Britain will proceed with a severely limited budget over the summer and beyond. Both the men and women will have to qualify for both Eurobasket tournaments in 2015 through the qualifying rounds with the men playing Bosnia & Herzegovina and Iceland with the Copper Box Arena in London looking likely to stage those two games and the women playing at the Worcester Arena against FYR of Macedonia, Lithuania and Belgium.
“The vigorous debate on how we fund elite sport in this country has identified a gap in the funding system, which can particularly affect team sports,” said British Basketball chairman Roger Moreland.
“Winning medals now and in the future should be celebrated, but we need to consider its impact. Basketball has a grassroots base bigger than any other British Olympic team sport. A funding system with nearly £350 million pounds available for elite sport cannot be working to the best of its ability, if it can leave sports like basketball behind.
“If there is the political will and the leadership, a solution can be found. Other countries have done so.”
Liz Nicholl, Chief Executive of UK Sport, said: “If the nation values sporting success we can deliver it, but only if we remain focused, as the Olympic and Paralympic environment is becoming increasingly competitive. I am confident our approach will continue to deliver more wonderful moments to inspire the nation.
“These are tough calls to make and we know that it is even tougher for the sports and athletes directly affected by funding withdrawal. All of these sports know that they have the opportunity to come back to us at the annual review stage each Autumn to make a case for future funding if they can demonstrate a realistic opportunity to win a medal within the next two Olympic or Paralympic cycles.”
British basketball media outlet MVP Magazine began an online petition, which various members of the Great Britain basketball community signed. Unfortunately, the 2000 signatures obtained were not enough for that particular petition to go further.