Pathway to Olympics Cleared for Japanese Women National Team
-FIBA and JOC satisfied after resolutions taken at JBA’s Extraordinary Congress-
The fact that the Japan Basketball Association (JBA) had been unable to resolve internal conflicts and to renew open Board positions for almost a year triggered its suspension by the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) on 18th March 2008 and opened questions as to the possibility for the Japanese Women National Team to participate in the upcoming FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Madrid, Spain (9th to 15th June 2008), the event that will grant the last five women’s passports to compete in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
In order to assess the situation on behalf of the International Basketball Federation’s Central Board, FIBA Secretary General and IOC member Patrick Baumann has been in Tokyo since last Monday, 28th April. During its stay in Japan’s capital, Mr. Baumann held meetings with the President of the Japanese Basketball League, Mr. F. Tamiaki, with the acting President of JBA, Mr. T. Ishikawa, and with the President of the JOC, Mr. T. Takeda.
At the same time, on the occasion of its Extraordinary Congress held two days ago, on 29th April, JBA’s members were able to select in due form all new nominees for Board membership and approved the activity plans and financial reports for 2008. These decisions have been considered positively by both FIBA and the Japanese Olympic Committee and will effectively allow the JOC to lift its suspension to JBA at its next Executive Board meeting. In the meantime, the new Board of JBA will meet shortly to elect amongst the new nominees the officers that will represent the Association.
As a consequence, JBA and JOC asked FIBA to allow the Japanese Women National Team to continue its preparation and to participate in the upcoming FIBA events despite the fact that the JOC’s sanction has not been lifted yet. Indeed, the Japanese team is registered for participation at the above-mentioned Pre-Olympic Tournament for Women in Madrid and at the 2nd FIBA Diamond Ball for Women to take place in Haining, China, from 2nd to 5th August 2008.
FIBA Secretary General and IOC member Patrick Baumann stated: "The institutional developments over the past couple of days have been long overdue and are very encouraging. On behalf of the FIBA Central Board I congratulate JBA for having resolved this deadlock. We expect now JBA to stop the infighting and appoint without delay a new President, so that the relationships with both FIBA and the JOC can be normalized rapidly. FIBA will therefore closely monitor the compliance of JBA with their latest resolutions. The discussions with JOC President Takeda were also very constructive, allowing to concentrate on preserving the interests of JBA and protecting the athletes. As a result, the JOC can lift its suspension shortly and the Japanese Women National Team shall pursue its training camps without anxiety. We look forward to seeing the Japanese team competing in Madrid and Haining and wish them good luck."
www.fiba.com), the world governing body for basketball, is an independent association formed by 213 National Federations of basketball throughout the world. It is recognised as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Its main upcoming events are the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments for Men and Women (to take place in the summer of 2008) that will decide the final berths for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and the FIBA World Championships for Men and Women, held every four years. The 2010 FIBA World Championship will be played in Turkey, while the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women will take place in the Czech Republic.