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FIBA SUSPENDS LEBANON

05:14 PM July 13, 2013

INTERNAL squabbles have forced a perennial FIBA Asia threat from this year’s competitions.

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The world’s governing body in the sport has meted Lebanon an indefinite suspension Friday following that country’s basketball federation to resolve its own intramurals in an amicable way.

The sanction means Lebanon, which has finished second three times in the FIBA Asia tilt since 1999, will not be able to compete in the 2013 edition the Philippines is hosting Aug. 1 to 11.

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Iraq, which wound up fourth and last in the West Asian eliminations last February, takes the place of Lebanon in Group B of the first round of eliminations.

The 27th FIBA Asia offers tickets to the top three finishers for next year’s World Cup in Spain.

The Lebanese squad was seemingly affected by the sad news as it dropped a 67-69 heartbreaker to Jordan Friday in the ongoing Jones Cup.

Ironically, the current FIBA Asia secretary-General, Hagop Khajirian, hails from Lebanon.

According to the Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star in its July 13 issue, the crisis arose after legal cases were filed in court by clubs Amchit and Mouttahed late last month against the Federation Libanaise de Basketball.

Due to the cases, the FLB put an abrupt halt to its league while catching the attention of FIBA.

The world body tried to propose some solutions but the impasse remained in place while its Friday deadline came and went. (NC)

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