Basketball Ireland blast ‘mixed messages’ and ‘unfair halting’ of season by authorities

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Basketball Ireland have hit out at the lack of information that they have received from health authorities after their season was put on hold just hours after it was due to commence.

In a statement, they blasted the “unfair halting” of the competition and said they have “sought explanation and assurances from authorities, in order that it can plan the launch of its season”. 

They also asked for a definitive response and an end to the “mixed messages and lack of firm commitments” they believe have been given to them thus far.

They also announced that they plan to start the season on January 9 and run a shortened campaign that will run until March and April. The group added that they plan on keeping their traditional cup final weekend in late January. The proposed start date is for both the men’s and women’s leagues.

“As an organisation that has gone out of its way to comply with all guidelines and even to add further restrictions internally, I have to admit to being disappointed at the lack of information and consultation of the decision to halt our National Leagues,” said Basketball Ireland Chief Executive Bernard O’Byrne, who is also chair of the Men’s National Competitions Committee (MNCC).

“Our 51 National League teams across the country had spent a lot of money, time and effort in preparing for the season and all our protocols had been approved by the Sport Expert Group.

“We understand the pressure decision-makers are under, but communication is a basic necessity in these times and we feel very let down. The MNCC are taking this re-focussing initiative, which the WNLC (Women’s National League Committee) have indicated they’re likely to follow too,” he added.

“We know this will not please everybody in the sport, but we feel that this is the best of several not-ideal options left to us. We ask everybody for their co-operation.”

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