Basketball: England coach to quit unless national team wins funding

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The Independent Online
The England coach, Laszlo Nemeth, has given the English Basketball Association until the end of this season to obtain funding for the men's national team, or he will resign.

The 46-year-old Hungarian, respected throughout Europe and revered by his players, has been persuaded to see England though this season's European Championship semi-final group games, beginning in Denmark on Wednesday week. But the Association will have to find a new coach unless they succeed with an application to the Lottery Sports Fund.

Nemeth, who is nursing a broken arm suffered in a Leeds local league game, said: "It has been the same story for the last four years. England has a tremendous future in European basketball but we need fundamental changes to the current system if we are to stand any chance of success."

Stephen Catton, the Association's chief executive, said: "We want Laszlo to remain with us but sometimes I wonder how he has stayed with it this long. We know we have the talent in the team, and even more talented youngsters are ready to replace the seniors in the future. But without the correct programme of funding and preparation, our job is made extremely difficult."

The Bosman ruling, which has scattered England players all over Europe, has made training and preparation harder and more expensive, as has the overloaded domestic programme of Budweiser League and League Trophy matches.

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