Interior Secretary Priti Patel has canceled the visa of the Belarus men’s basketball team ahead of their scheduled game against England on Monday due to the country’s support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The World Cup qualifiers were set to be held in Newcastle and have been postponed by the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) and for now, the visa has been removed.
Patel insists no sports delegations will come to Britain from countries showing support for Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine.
The home secretary tweeted: ‘I have canceled the visas of the Belarus Men’s Basketball Team who will be playing in Newcastle tomorrow night.
For the latest updates on the Russo-Ukrainian war, visit our live blog: Russia-Ukraine Live
‘The UK will not welcome national sports teams of countries complicit in Putin’s gratuitous and illegal invasion of Ukraine.’
England were also due to meet Belarus in Minsk on Friday, but that was postponed by Fiba before that.
Toni Minichiello, Interim President of the British Basketball Federation (BBF), said in a statement:: “We thank Fiba for all their help and for understanding our concerns regarding the situation. traveling to Minsk.
‘I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the BBF Board, GB Team Staff and Players for coming together and delivering a unified position. The safety of our players and staff is and will always be our top focus. ‘
A match between the Netherlands and Russia scheduled for Sunday in Almere has also been postponed, Fiba stated: ‘The decision is based on an assessment of the current security situation.
‘Fiba is closely monitoring the security situation in Europe, as the safety of players and officials remains Fiba’s primary concern.’
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/02/26/priti-patel-cancels-belarus-teams-uk-visas-as-country-complicit-with-war-in-ukraine-16180651/ Priti Patel cancels UK visa of Belarus team because country is 'complicit' in war in Ukraine