FIBA suspends Japan over failure to merge two basketball leagues

Wednesday November 26th, 2014

FIBA suspended the Japanese Basketball Association over its failure to merge the 22-team Basketball Japan League and the 13-team National Basketball League, FIBA announced Wednesday.

FIBA also said that Japan failed to restructure the JBA, ensuring that is fully functional under FIBA's General Statute, and has not presented a concrete sporting plan for its national teams beyond 2020.

The decision by international basketball's governing body of basketball impacts Japan as it is not allowed to compete in the Olympic Games and other international competitions.

Japan's women's basketball team is in position to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after winning the Asian Championships last year.

"FIBA regrets that the situation has reached such a point of no return," FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann said in a statement. ''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."

FIBA said that the resignations of the JBA and NBL presidents "are clear signs of the difficulties the JBA leadership has faced." The association plans on sending a delegation to Japan in order to set up a task force to implement new reforms.

- Scooby Axson

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