Greece's Appeal of World Championship Suspensions Denied
FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann made the announcement on Saturday afternoon here before the start of the Worlds that Greece's appeal has been denied and all penalties will stand for the Aug. 19 brawl during an exhibition game.
Serbia and Oklahoma City Thunder center Nenad Krstic, who tossed a chair during the brawl against Greece, will miss the first three games of the Worlds. Fellow Serbian Milos Teodosic will miss the first two games. Baumann confirmed neither penalty was appealed.
Greece's suspensions of two games each for Antonis Fotsis and Sofoklis Schortsanitis will also stand, and they will return for a key third game in the Worlds on Tuesday against Turkey.
"We want it to be a clean game, a proper game,'' Baumann said of the suspensions. "We play within the rules whether it is (an exhibition game or any game). When you represent your national team, there should be an added obligation to behave properly.''
In addition to the suspensions, Krstic was fined 45,000 Swiss francs and the other three players 20,000 Swiss francs apiece.
Baumann also said he's "very confident'' Great Britain will end up getting an automatic bid to the 2012 Olympics in London as the host nation, but the country still has to show it is committed long-term to the growth of basketball, and it would not just be a one-shot deal to put together a top team for the 2012 Games. Baumann told FanHouse a final decision on Great Britain will be made next spring or summer.
"It's before the European Championships,'' Baumann said of wanting it to be known before that summer event how Great Britain stands. "I prefer people to get down and put down their strategy for 2018 and 2020 and say, 'OK, how are we going to take this forward.'
"It's an amazing opportunity for basketball (to have it built up in the nation). I have to be optimistic. I don't want to lose the U.K. I want to win U.K. as much as the NBA wants the U.K. Everyone wants the U.K. It's a big market ... Great Britain is host to multi-national companies. Rich televisions. So I think it's clear for the NBA why they want the U.K.''
Baumann told FanHouse that FIBA is working to try to get the Olympic basketball field expanded from 12 to 16 for the 2016 games in Brazil. He said FIBA would need to get the International Olympic Committee to approve such a move in 2013.
With the 2014 World Championship in Spain, Baumann also said it will be around 2012 that FIBA officials start looking into who might host the event in 2018. He named Germany, China and Russia as possible countries that could bid.
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