(Reuters) - Basketball’s governing body FIBA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Australia over allegations they lost a World Cup game against Angola in order to delay an encounter with the USA.
Australia were beaten 91-83 by Angola in the group stage of the World Cup in Spain last Thursday. The result ensured Australia finished third instead of second in their preliminary pool.
“The on-court behavior displayed by Australia in that game (against Angola) generated huge disappointment by basketball fans and experts,” FIBA said on its official website (www.fiba.com).
“It is widely suspected that Australia lost the game in order to avoid having to face reigning world champions USA until the semi-finals.”
The statement added: “Basketball Australia has an opportunity to state its case before FIBA decides whether and to what extent disciplinary sanctions shall be imposed.”
Australia were eliminated in a 65-64 defeat by Turkey in the first knockout round on Sunday.
The World Cup final takes place on Sept. 14.
Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic in Belgrade, editing by Stephen Wood