Sport

"We have been ignored" - Basketball Ireland want clarity on return

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

04:39 19 Nov 2020


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Basketball Ireland claim they have been ignored by the Government. 

They've called for a clear pathway for indoor sports to resume once level-5 coronavirus restrictions are lifted across the country.

Indoor sporting facilities remain closed, and are expected to remain as such until early December at the earliest.

Meanwhile, elite outdoor sport like soccer, rugby and gaelic games have all continued behind closed doors since level-5 restrictions were imposed in October.

It's not the first time Basketball Ireland have criticised the Government's handling of indoor sports.

In August they described regulations as "confusing", and sought clarity of what was expected of their clubs.

Recently, Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy speculated that indoor sports would be the last to resume across the country.

Basketball Ireland noted Mr. Treacy's personal view, but added, "We must make a plan to resume, rather than shutting the sport down and Basketball Ireland is continuing to work towards a season start date of January 9.

"Basketball Ireland is now urgently calling for the government to provide a clear exit plan from level 5 for our sport, once restrictions are eased in December to allow our sport to restart.

"We note that plans for a return to basketball are far more advanced in Europe, for example Spain, where Covid-19 rates are far higher than in Ireland.

"For too long basketball and indoor sport has been left in the margins when it comes to guidelines handed out by government, with proper consideration only given to outdoor sports.

"We are urging consultation with not alone Basketball Ireland, but other indoor sports too."

Basketball Ireland CEO Bernard O'Byrne said, "Our sport has had a handbrake applied since March.

"We’ve led from the front when it came to dealing with Covid-19, calling a halt to our league back in spring.

"Basketball Ireland and our clubs have since invested a lot time, money and effort to put necessary safety measures in place, which has resulted in no cases emerging through basketball activity anywhere in the country. We now need the government to provide a clear pathway for us to resume.

"We have been ignored and watched on while other elite level sports have continued.

"We now want government to agree a schedule for basketball’s return, so we, and our clubs, can plan accordingly, without being left in limbo.

"We shall continue to work in tandem with Sport Ireland to get our sport underway as soon as possible.”

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Basketball Basketball Ireland Bernard O'Byrne Coronavirus Covid-19 John Treacy Sport Ireland

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