Basketball: Referees in revolt

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The Independent Online
AS IF unruly players were not enough to deal with, basketball's authorities are facing a revolt from the game's referees, which could mean no officials taking part in the Carlsberg Championship finals at Wembley on 1 and 2 May, writes Duncan Hooper.

The dispute is over a sponsorship deal from Euroref, negotiated by the English Association of Basketball Officials on behalf of its members. The deal is being vetoed by the governing bodies.

EABO members officiate in the men's First Division of the Carlsberg League - administrated by the Basketball League Ltd - and the other men's and women's divisions of the league, which are under the sport's governing body, the English Basket Ball Association.

David Ransom, chief executive of the EBBA, yesterday received an ultimatum by post from Trevor Pountain, the EABO chairman. Pountain warned that unless Ransom confirmed by 1 April that the EBBA and BBL would match the offer from Euroref, 'We, EABO, reserve the right to be unavailable for the play-off nominations.'

Euroref's offer is to supply 90 sets of their distinctive black and white striped shirts for each of the next three seasons, plus pounds 9,000 for the first year and pounds 12,000 for the second and third.