Basketball Ireland has announced that the Men’s National Competitions Committee (MNCC) has decided that the 2020/21 Super League and Division One League seasons are being cancelled.
In a statement on their website, they say they have no alternative and the decision was reached following a meeting on Saturday morning to consider the most recent Covid-19 guidelines from the Irish Government.
No decision has been made over the 2020/21 Men’s National Cup.
Basketball Ireland added that they are disappointed proposals which they made in relation to the sport being played behind closed doors in the new year, with extra precautions in place as well as rigorous testing, were not considered by the government.
In line with the Irish Government's latest Covid-19 restrictions, non-contact outdoor training is allowed in pods of up to 15 from 1st December, with the exceptions of professional and senior inter-county sports.
Training is limited to individuals only indoors and no exercise or dance classes are allowed.
The statement in full from Basketball Ireland read:
The Basketball Ireland Men’s National Competitions Committee (MNCC) has decided it has no alternative but to cancel the 2020/21 Super League and Division One league season. It follows a meeting on Saturday morning to consider the most recent Covid-19 guidelines from the Irish government. No decision has been made over the 2020/21 Men’s National Cup.
The MNCC is extremely disappointed that its case for the commencement of play in the National Leagues on January 9th behind closed doors, with extra rigorous testing in place, has not been considered properly. It is felt that fair play and consultation has not happened and we can only conclude that we are not trusted to act in a safe and responsible manner. We note that many national basketball leagues are taking place throughout Europe with the agreement of the government and health authorities in those countries.
As our clubs have commercial commitments as a semi-professional league and cannot be left in uncertainty any longer. We will continue to make the case to the political decision-makers for the playing of elite basketball in 2021. We hope that a competition may be possible in February/March, which will give our players and supporters something to look forward to.
This is a difficult and disappointing decision to have made but we trust our community understands that we feel it is the only reasonable action to take.
Commenting on the matter, Basketball Ireland CEO and chair of the MNCC, Bernard O’Byrne said,
“Basketball Ireland has been lobbying government, but still have been ignored. It shall not stop fighting for recognition and answers from the Government. The MNCC feel that certainty is needed and we cannot keep our clubs, players, officials and volunteers waiting.
"We would have loved to start our season on January 9th, but we’ve been left with no choice. Basketball Ireland has been doing its utmost to help our clubs during these difficult times and it shall continue to do so."