FIBA issues hefty fines, suspensions for PH-AUS brawl
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The FIBA Disciplinary Panel on Thursday announced its decision to suspend 13 players and 2 coaches as well as to impose fines and other sanctions on the national federations of Philippines and Australia. FIBA has also suspended the officiating crew of the game.
On Monday, July 2, during the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers game between Philippines and Australia at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan, a fight broke out midway through the third quarter and soon turned into a wider and more violent brawl.
Thirteen players were disqualified and the game was resumed but eventually had to be stopped once Philippines were left with one player.
FIBA launched a disciplinary proceeding right after the game and referred the matter to its Disciplinary Panel, which has now issued two decisions.
The following 10 players are suspended for unsportsmanlike behavior and, in the case of Roger Pogoy, also for inciting unsportsmanlike behavior (in brackets the number of games of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers): Japeth Aguilar and Matthew Wright (1 game each); Terence Romeo, Jayson Castro William, Andray Blatche and Jeth Rosario (3 games each); Roger Pogoy, Carl Cruz and Jio Jalalon (5 games each); Calvin Abueva (6 games, due also to prior unsportsmanlike behavior in a FIBA competition). No sanction is imposed on Gabe Norwood.
Assistant Coach Joseph Uichico is suspended for 3 games for unsportsmanlike behavior. Head Coach Vincent ‘Chot’ Reyes is suspended for 1 game and shall pay a disciplinary fine of CHF 10,000 for inciting unsportsmanlike behavior.
Philippines’ national federation, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, Inc (SBP), is sanctioned for the unsportsmanlike behavior of its delegation members and of its public, as well as for insufficient organization of the game. Philippines will play the next home game behind closed doors while a ban for two more home games has been placed under a probationary period of 3 years. SBP shall also pay a disciplinary fine of CHF 250,000.
The following 3 players are suspended for unsportsmanlike behavior and, in the case of Chris Goulding and Daniel Kickert, also for inciting unsportsmanlike behavior: Chris Goulding (1 game), Thon Maker (3 games) and Daniel Kickert (5 games). No sanction is imposed on Nathan Sobey and Jason Cadee.
Basketball Australia shall pay a disciplinary fine of CHF 100,000 for the unsportsmanlike behavior of its players and for abusing and/or tampering of equipment, after having removed floor stickers from the court on the eve of the game.
Money from the fines will be used to support the “Basketball for Good” social program launched by the International Basketball Foundation (IBF).
Furthermore, following a thorough evaluation by a group of experts of the officiating during the game, the FIBA Secretary General has decided that the referees of the game shall be removed with immediate effect from the FIBA Elite Program and shall not be nominated to any international competitions organized or recognized by FIBA (including at Zone and Sub-zone level) for a period of one year.
FIBA wishes to emphasize that it condemns any form of violence, both on and off the court. Respect, sportsmanship and professionalism are expected from players, coaches, officials and all other stakeholders at every game. Moreover, host countries must ensure the highest standards of organizational conditions are in place to guarantee the safety and well-being of players and other participants at all times.