(photo credit: )
The national basketball team has now been officially exiled to Europe, just like Israel's soccer teams.
FIBA Europe notified the Israel Basketball Association on Saturday of its final decision that Israel's upcoming 2008 European championship qualifying games cannot be held on Israeli soil until further notice.
A preliminary decision to pull the games was made on August 9, when it was also announced that a final decision would come out of a meeting that was held on Saturday.
IBA chairman Yermi Olmert had demanded a reevaluation of the security situation in Tel Aviv, but even the cease-fire in the North was not enough to reverse the ruling.
"We were notified by FIBA [Europe] that Israel will not be able to host the upcoming game against Bosnia," IBA official Yehuda Shikma told The Jerusalem Post. "We don't intend to appeal the decision, but we shall do our best to bring back the games to Israel as soon as possible."
Shikma also hinted that the primary reason for the decision was an apparent unwillingness on the part of foreign teams to visit the war-hit region.
The IBA has also been asked to determine an alternate venue for its home games by Tuesday. Israel first "home" game is scheduled for August 31 against Bosnia.