England Basketball statement regarding FIBA Membership
In 2005, following the awarding of the 2012 Olympic Games to London, FIBA accorded a special status to Great Britain to allow teams the opportunity to qualify for the London Games. As a consequence, the FIBA-affiliated federations of England, Scotland and Wales came together to form the British Basketball Federation, which has had the responsibility for organising the senior and Under 20 Great Britain mens and womens teams through its wholly-owned subsidiary, British Performance Basketball, and those teams have been playing in England's place since 2006.
The special status was granted only until 12 August this year, the final day of the London Olympiad, but in early 2011 the British Basketball Federation presented a strategic plan to FIBA asking for the special status to continue for a further 4 years, so that the progress which had been achieved could be consolidated, and the opportunity provided to basketball in Britain could be fully realised.
The FIBA Central Board awarded the host places to the Great Britain teams at their meeting in Lyon on 13 March 2011, but agreed to an extension of the special status to 2016 only on condition that the federations of England, Scotland and Wales give up their individual memberships of FIBA in favour of BBF membership, effective from 2016. Failure to do so would mean an immediate return to the pre-2005 situation at the end of the London Olympic Games, and the discontinuation of the GB programmes. The deadline for making that decision was 30 June 2012.
The BBF set up a small project team to consult with all key stakeholders and carry out a thorough investigation of all the risks and benefits, and 2 'joint boards' meeting were held - in August 2011 and April 2012 - bringing together all of the Board members of England, Scotland, Wales and British Basketball. In addition, the President and the Secretary General of FIBA visited all the Boards and their respective Sports Councils in March 2012.
At its meeting in Sheffield on Friday 4 May 2012, the Board of England Basketball made the decision to support the proposals for a British Basketball membership of FIBA beyond 2016, and recommend to the membership that the English Basketball Association resign its membership of FIBA as per the agreed schedule. A process of consultation with members was undertaken in late May/early June, the result of which was 95% in favour of the Board's recommendation.
The decision was conveyed to FIBA and the BBF on 30 June, and England Basketball's direct affiliation to FIBA will end on 30 September 2016, subject to final confirmation by FIBA. Until then, the situation that has existed since 2006 will continue, with England teams still participating in official European Championships at Under 18 and Under 16 levels, up to and including the summer of 2016.
Beyond 2016, England Basketball as an entity will still exist, and will still have a relationship with FIBA through the affiliation of the BBF. England Basketball will still be eligible for Sport England funding, and will still be responsible for all grassroots programmes in England, and all the English national leagues. England will organise national teams at all age-groups including senior, and including the possibility of Commonwealth Games participation, except that they will not be able to compete in official FIBA competitions. The BBF will construct alternative competition schedules for all home nations, at all levels.
The Board of basketballscotland have also agreed to support the proposals for a British Basketball membership of FIBA beyond 2016, after a rigorous process of evaluation, and their membership consultation also returned a significant majority in support. Regrettably the Welsh federation rejected the proposals; however the agreement with FIBA allows for the British project to proceed on the basis of the positive decisions of both England and Scotland.