Basketball Australia chose not to send the Boomers to Iran, where nationwide protests erupted after a woman died in police custody.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Australia withdrew from their FIBA World Cup Asian qualifier against Iran in Tehran on Monday 14 November due to safety concerns for their players.
Basketball Australia’s decision comes after the Boomers secured a spot to next year’s World Cup co-hosted by the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.
Basketball Australia will not be sending a team to Iran at this time following a thorough risk assessment in cooperation with the relevant authorities.
In Iran, nationwide protests erupted following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody.
Arrested for “improperly dressed” in September, Amini is said to have been beaten by police before slipping into a coma and died days later.
More than 300 demonstrators were killed and more than 15,000, including foreigners, were detained during weeks of protests.
FIBA said in a statement on Friday 11 November that the match would be forfeited in favor of Iran, adding that it would open an inquiry into “potential further action”.
Australia were unbeatable in the Asian qualifiers, winning all nine matches by an average of a staggering 31 points.
The Boomers qualified for the World Cup last Friday with a 97-50 win over Kazakhstan in Astana.
In addition to Australia and World Cup hosts the Philippines and Japan, Lebanon and New Zealand have also qualified for the Global Hoop Showdown from the Asia-Pacific region. –Rappler.com