Great Britain Basketball Team To Become Permanent Under New Contract
England and Scotland are expected to sign a contract with basketball's world governing body that will "formally merge them as Great Britain" starting in '16, according to Ian Whittell of the LONDON TIMES. Both countries "agreed to relinquish their membership" of the Int'l Basketball Federation (FIBA) and come under the GB banner for int'l competitions. Wales basketball had refused to join the merger but FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann confirmed the Welsh will be "forced into line" and team GB will be formed. Baumann: "Despite the Welsh negative decision, we still took the view to sign the contract with England and Scotland because this is going to be unstoppable." At this time there are English and Scottish players in the British men's and women's teams but none from Wales, which was one of the reasons "cited by basketball Wales when it voted against a merger." The board said that they "did not want to close the door on their players playing in international competition going forward" (LONDON TIMES, 8/11).