FIBA announced that Canada Basketball has been fined 160,000 Swiss francs ($227,138) and docked a point in the standings for withdrawing from games against Cuba on Nov. 29 and the US Virgin Islands on Nov. 30.
Canada Basketball is appealing sanctions leveled by FIBA after the country pulled out of two FIBA AmeriCup 2022 qualifying games in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, Canada Basketball said:
“In the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic that has claimed the lives of over two million people around the world, and infected 96 million more, never did we think we’d be forced to make a decision between the well-being of players and staff, and sanctioning for an inability to safely participate in an international competition.”
Canada is slated to play four games in the next qualifying window, starting with a match with the U.S. Virgin Islands Feb. 17 and a meeting with Cuba a day later.
The top three teams at the qualifying tournament will advance to the FIBA AmeriCup scheduled to take place next September.
Canada is hosting a last-chance Olympic qualifying tournament from June 29-July 1. The Canadians must win the event to clinch a spot in the Tokyo Olympics.
FIBA also sanctioned China, Taiwan, and Korea for skipping their second window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers in November.