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Basketball Ireland seething at supporter ban for European Championships


Basketball Ireland have been left disappointed in their hopes to have fans attend the upcoming FIBA European Championship for Small Countries.

The National Basketball Arena in Tallaght is due to host the tournament from August 10-15.

While Minister for Sport Jack Chambers trumpeted the increased numbers able to attend outdoor sports on Friday, indoor games have once again been left high and dry.

Basketball Ireland head coach, Mark Keenan, said: “I know Basketball Ireland put in a lot of hard work to state our case to have spectators.

"Naturally this is very disappointing news and doesn’t make any sense to me, especially when indoor dining and going to the cinema is allowed.

"Having said this, all the players and coaching staff are fully focused on our preparations as we want to be in the best possible shape for our opening game against Andorra on August 10th.

"We know the Irish basketball community and all our families and friends will fully get behind the team online and hopefully tune in to support all our games which will be broadcasted on live stream.”

Ireland begin their campaign against Andorra, as Keenan mentioned, on August 10 before games with San Marino (August 12), Gibraltar (August 14) and Malta (August 15).

All matches will be streamed live on FIBA's YouTube channel.

Basketball Ireland Senior Technical Officer, Matt Hall added: “We have been working hard in the background with Sport Ireland to see if we could facilitate basketball fans, but unfortunately we’re not able to on this occasion, due to the current public health guidelines.

"Sport Ireland have been hugely supportive of the tournament, helping ensure it was able to take place and we’re hugely grateful for that."

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