Sunday, March 3, 2024

Basketball Ireland: placed in ‘difficult situation’ over Israel fixture

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When asked to reflect on the controversy, Feehan, who said the Irish team would face heavy fines and expulsion from the competition if the team boycotted their fixtures with Israel, said he felt “we have done what is right for the sport.”

“Ultimately, we have to make sure we don’t exclude anybody within our sport and that is exactly where we needed to be,” he told BBC Sport.

“It’s been a difficult week, no doubt about it, but I think the sport is in great shape and going forward in a positive way.”

Feehan added he wanted FIBA [The International Basketball Federation] to make a unilateral decision on future matches and take the decision out of the hands of individual federations.

“No federation, anywhere, wants to be in that position, he said.

“Having said that, I think we have come out of it very strongly. The reality is that it is a difficult situation.

“I hope it is resolved over the next while, but, ultimately, that will be up to FIBA. We can’t do this in isolation.

“These kinds of decisions should be done as a totality. FIBA would have to make sure there is willing support across Europe to do that. You can’t do these things in isolation, you end up hurting yourself and nobody else.

“We hope that everything can be resolved. Let’s be brutally honest, everyone wants peace and hopefully that will happen in the not to distant future.”

Ireland’s Under-17 women are set to play Israel on Friday, 23 February in a European qualifier in Albania and, like with Basketball Ireland, the Football Association of Ireland have faced calls to boycott the game.

However, FAI president Paul Cooke said “yes”, , externalwhen asked at the men’s Nations League draw in Paris if the Republic of Ireland would fulfil the fixture.

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