FIBA reinstates Lebanon membership after ban

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BEIRUT (AP) - The International Basketball Federation has reinstated Lebanon’s membership, inviting the country to resume international competition after a 10-month ban.

In a letter addressed to Walid Nasser, the president of the Lebanese Basketball Federation, FIBA says the LBF is “reinstated with full rights” and “teams may take part in all FIBA competitions and activities.”

FIBA announced the decision on Thursday.

Lebanon was suspended last July because of political and judicial interference in the Lebanese championship, and the LBF’s inability to resolve the dispute. The decision prevented the national team from taking part in the Asia Championship in the Philippines last year.

FIBA says it hopes “events which caused the suspicion … are behind us.”

Basketball is one of Lebanon’s most popular sports, and top clubs are owned or funded by politicians, including the president’s family and Cabinet ministers.

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