Due to suspension rules, Scottish champions Falkirk Fury were forced to cancel a glamorous game against one of the British Basketball League’s giants.
In next month’s BBL Trophy, the amateurs won a wildcard, so there was a David versus Goliath clash on the cards.
But Sportscotland forbade the Fury to compete on the grounds that it was not an elite club, even though an exception from the Covid rules to practice and play games against professional opponents was given to England’s non-league teams south of the border.
And unsure whether they could even fly to an offshore match south of the border, withdrawal was the only choice, as coach John Bunyan had acknowledged.
“Given the nature of the opponent and the fact that we had no meaningful training, we had no choice but to withdraw,” he said. I think in September there would have been a lot more discussion about our training options and hence our involvement.
“It’s disappointing not only for Fury but also for the grassroots of Scottish basketball that participation in this event is now limited to one Scottish club.”
Basketball Scotland has assured Falkirk a spot in the next season’s Trophy with the 2020-21 Scottish League season off.
When the first-round draw is carried out next month, another English team is expected to take Fury’s place.