Madrid, May 1 (IANS) Spain’s point guard Ricky Rubio has strongly criticised the world basketball governing body FIBA for its decision to exclude Spain from the Olympic Games.
FIBA announced in April that Spain was among several countries that have been suspended from the 2016 Games as a result of a conflict between FIBA and the EuroLeague, which the former wants to replace with a different competition, reports Xinhua.
The decision will deprive Rio of some of the best teams in the world, while the Spanish, who are reigning European champions, will be denied the chance to compete for a medal after winning silver in the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games.
“I think the war between FIBA and EuroLeague has got to a point where it doesn’t make any sense,” Rubio said.
He plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the US.
“As a player I think Spain has earned the right to be in Rio and we showed that by winning the European Championships. I don’t see why they won’t let us go,” he told the sports paper, Diario AS.
“Spain deserves to be in Rio because we have earned the right and for the sake of justice,” commented the player who travelled to Beijing aged just 17 years old but missed out on London as the result of a serious knee injury.
“The Beijing Games were unforgettable for me and it was bad luck to miss out on London but I am not 17 any more and I want to have the chance to prepare well and compete,” he said.