Clubs facing disciplinary action after ‘farcical’ ending to match
The Malta Basketball Association has summoned officials from Hibernians BC and Depiro to appear in front of the governing body as part of an investigation over Saturday’s Men’s League match between the two clubs.
The local governing body of basketball opened an investigation on the performance and the behaviour displayed by both Hibernians and Depiro players in the closing stages of the said match with a view of initiating disciplinary proceedings.
During the match, Depiro and Hibernians players failed to score a single point in the last six and a half minutes of the match.
While neither side registered any score whatsoever they committed numerous turnovers, careless shooting and blatant violations.
The MBA have made contact with the club and has summoned them for a hearing tomorrow, with the president, senior coach and captain of each team expected to appear in front of the board.
Hibernians issued a statement to deny any talk of wrongdoing from their club.
“Hibernians Basketball Club rejects in their entirety allegations made today in their respect today and deny categorically any wrongdoing in relation to the league game against Depiro BC played last Saturday (26th March),” the club said in a statement.
“The club is committed to collaborate with any investigation in this respect and, as it has done consistently, condemns any conduct that prejudices the integrity, fairness and transparency of sport, which principles are at the very core of the clubs values.”
On the other hand, Depiro BC have refuted claims of match-fixing and said that the club has held an internal investigation following the news breaking out and that it has disassociated itself from the behaviour shown by the team.
“Depiro Basketball Club reaffirms its core values and good work achieved over the past years towards supporting the development of basketball in Malta. Following the match against Hibernians, the club investigated the matter and disassociates itself from a certain attitude shown by the team during the last few minutes of the game,” a statement said.
“The Committee was not previously aware of any approach that could have been relevant to the team’s performance during the match, but it resulted to the club that allegations of potential match-fixing are unfounded.”
Depiro went further to say that the committee had asked coach James Bamfield for an explanation, to which the Wales national team coach then offered his resignation. While the club has not yet finalised its decision, it is believed it will “be communicating its definitive position on its head coach in due course.”