Hong Kong’s basketball chief has said they remain in the dark regarding the fate of the city’s men’s team’s eligibility for the Asian Games in Hangzhou.
Norman Chan Sui-tim, chairman of the association, said on Wednesday they had been pressing the Olympic Council of Asia via phone calls and emails for answers but had not received any reply to date.
Speaking at a press conference, Chan claimed the association was informed about the details that led to the sudden rule change by the secretary general of the Chinese Basketball Association at a general meeting in Manila before the FIBA World Cup tipped off last week.
“We were told that three of the initial 20 teams taking part at the Games had decided to drop out,” he said. “That left Hong Kong [ranked No 25 in Asia) as the 17th team, just one spot off the designated 16 teams for the groups of four, to compete at Asian Games.”
Asked about which teams had dropped out, and the identity of the CBA personnel who relayed the information to the association, Chan failed to answer.
“We had not done anything wrong all along, and the Hong Kong Olympic Committee can confirm that too,” Chan added. “We will continue to press for answers, but I suspect that the OCA does not know how to give us an answer.”
Sources with connections to the organising committee of the Hangzhou Games, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Post the Hong Kong team had been “wronged” by the decision.
“I felt the OCA did not follow enough of the standardised protocol on this matter,” the source said. “It would have been much easier had they followed the technical handbook, but they didn’t.
“Per the technical handbook, Hong Kong can try to qualify via the qualification phase, but I never saw any arrangements concerning the qualification phase all along.
“If there is a standardised protocol, it would be right to follow it, rather than changing it and just issuing a notice.”
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