FIBA World Cup Qualifier in Melbourne Bans Taiwan Flag

Security officials at the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers blocked fans carrying Taiwan’s flag from entering the arena.

Andrew Farrugia, an Australian basketball fan, said security officials blocked him from entering John Cain Arena on Friday. He said the officials showed a document showing a list of banned items, including Taiwan’s flag. Farrugia said he was asked to leave the flag in the cloakroom before entering the venue.

“I’ve seen Taiwan play before here in Melbourne, but this is the first time it’s happened to me,” Farrugia said.

According to FIBA, its rules and regulations only allow the use of flags and anthems of countries or affiliated National Member Federations approved or recognized by the organization.

“Moreover, FIBA Venue Rules do not allow for persons to make any declarations, statements or other actions that display a nationalistic, political, religious, ethnic or racist message not fit for a sporting competition,” FIBA said.

Farrugia said the security officials cited an incident the night before involving protesters and Chinese fans. A game spectator claimed the security punched and dragged him out of the stadium for holding up a sign saying “Stop The Uyghur Genocide” with a photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Taiwan played against China on Friday under the Chinese Taipei banner.

China won against Chinese Taipei, 94-58.


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