After being disqualified for some time by the FIBA, the national basketball team is suffering a new blow: the Lebanese Basketball Federation has officially withdrawn the team’s participation from the Jones Cup tournament that will take place in Taiwan from August 9 till August 17.

According to inner sources, the federation is suffering from financial problems: every trip costs around 75 000 USD and the FLB is incapable of financing the upcoming trip especially with a debt that is estimated around 100 000 USD. Resources are limited and the ministry of Youth and Sports contributes with tiny insufficient amounts. In addition, some players are refusing to participate in the tournament. Without its key players, and with the uncertainty of the participation of major players like Julien Khazzouh and Daniel Faris, the dream of dominating the Asian basketball is vanishing.

While all Asian teams are preparing to win the Asia Cup, the Lebanese national team is drowning. Who is to blame? First, politicians are the first to take the blame for interfering (as usual) and “politicizing” the game. I wonder why the ministry of Youth and Sorts as well as Lebanon parliamentary Commission for Youth and Sports do exist if they are incapable of supporting financially and morally the national team so it would achieve the best and regain its international rank after suffering major blows during the past months. Then, the FLB is also held accountable for not doing its job to find solutions to financial problems so its players won’t have to offer to pay their own flight, go overseas without pocket money and drown in sorrow and desperation.

Not only the national men’s team will be forbidden from participating; as a matter of fact, the junior men’s team (below 18) won’t be able to make it to Doha to participate in the Asian Championship for junior teams.

The Parliament can always find financial resources to pay illegal deputes who extended their own mandate, disregarding the laws, the Constitution and people’s will, but it seems always helpless and broke when it comes to giving rights to employees, teachers, professors, players, among many others. 

                                                                                                                                   Pascale Asmar