For those of you who aren't avid sports fans, Thursday’s news of Lebanon’s basketball membership suspension by FIBA (a French acronym for the International Basketball Foundation) came as a surprise to many, and a lot of unexplained gaps made it difficult to understand the whys and hows of what went down.
Bottom line: it's about how politics and unsettled differences, which have all too often "sponsored" this country's "events," made its way into basketball, too.
FIBA decided to suspend the local basketball federation following its failure to end internal "judicial interference," even after the Lebanese league was given a deadline to resolve its own conflict.
According to Naharnet, a dispute emerged during a league game between Champville and Amchit, where the Free Patriotic Movement backs the Champville basketball team, and President Michel Sleiman backs the Amchit team. Amchit sued Champville over the results of the teams' quarterfinal match.
The union said the lawsuit was politicized (rightly so), and so the league was suspended. The union then requested that FIBA intervene to resolve the crisis. FIBA demanded both sides end the problem by signing an understanding. That didn't happen.
The end result: Lebanon will miss out on all international tournaments, including the upcoming 27th Asian Championship, set to take place in the Philippines from August 1-11.
Photo via sportingpulse