Basketball Ireland announces cancellation of men's league season

By Stephen Leonard

BASKETBALL Ireland Men’s National Competitions Committee has announced that it has had to take the unfortunate step of cancelling the 2020/21 Super League and Division One league season.

It was hoped that competition would start behind closed doors on the new date of January 9, but, following a meeting on Saturday morning to consider the most recent Covid 19 guidelines, it has transpired that this will not be feasible.

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Griffith College Templeogue and DBS Éanna are among the many basketball clubs who have been affected by the decision to cancel the league season

It is a major blow to clubs around the country including local outfits Abbey Seals Dublin Lions in the Men's National League and last season's Men's National Cup finalists Griffith College Templeogue and DBS Éanna.

A statement by Basketball Ireland today read 'The Basketball Ireland Men’s National Competitions Committee (MNCC) has decided it has no alternative but to cancel the 2020/21 Super League and Division One league season.

'No decision has been made over the 2020/21 Men’s National Cup. 

'The MNCC is extremely disappointed that its case for commencement of play in the National Leagues on January 9th behind closed doors, with extra rigorous testing in place, has not been considered properly.

'It is felt that fair play and consultation has not happened and we can only conclude that we are not trusted to act in a safe and responsible manner.

'We note that many national basketball leagues are taking place throughout Europe with the agreement of the government and health authorities in those countries. 

'As our clubs have commercial commitments as a semi-professional league and cannot be left in uncertainty any longer. We will continue to make the case to the political decision-makers for the playing of elite basketball in 2021.

'We hope that a competition may be possible in February/March, which will give our players and supporters something to look forward to.  

'This is a difficult and disappointing decision to have made but we trust our community understands that we feel it is the only reasonable action to take.'

Basketball Ireland CEO and chair of the MNCC, Bernard O’Byrne, said: “Basketball Ireland has been lobbying government, but still have been ignored. It shall not stop fighting for recognition and answers from government. The MNCC feel that certainty is needed and we cannot keep our clubs, players, officials and volunteers waiting.

"We would have loved to start our season on January 9th, but we’ve been left with no choice. Basketball Ireland has been doing its utmost to help our clubs during these difficult times and it shall continue to do so.“

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