Basketball: Lions and Towers to replay after registration fiasco

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The Independent Online

London Towers and Milton Keynes Lions will replay their British Basketball League Trophy game which was abandoned last Saturday. Referee Keith Williams stopped the match after only one basket was scored because Lions' recently signed Robert Youngblood did not have a registration card.

London Towers and Milton Keynes Lions will replay their British Basketball League Trophy game which was abandoned last Saturday. Referee Keith Williams stopped the match after only one basket was scored because Lions' recently signed Robert Youngblood did not have a registration card.

The BBL have asked the sport's governing body to consider disciplinary action against Williams, an experienced official, who baffled close to 500 spectators at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre by refusing to allow Youngblood to play, even though he was licensed and had played the previous weekend.

A BBL statement said that despite a thorough knowledge of regulations, Williams failed to apply the correct rules or make reasonable efforts to clarify the position with the BBL, despite pleas from both clubs.

Williams, who has been told by both governing bodies not to discuss the matter, also failed to follow the commonsense ruling that "the game should go ahead, with disputes referred afterwards to the authorities." At the game Williams ignored the pleas of Towers' coach Robbie Peers and general manager Rick Taylor to allow Youngblood to play. Instead, Williams gave the ball to a Towers player to score a basket and then declared Towers 2-0 winners.

Towers have promised free entry to another game to those fans who kept their tickets.

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