Basketball: Bachar dropped from Euroleague list

Basketball Bachar dropp

The Income Tax Authority's investigation into Sami Bachar's financial affairs continued to create shockwaves in both the Israeli and European basketball communities on Tuesday. Bachar was detained and questioned by the Tax Authority on Monday regarding the ongoing investigation into the multi-million dollar investment scheme allegedly run by Moni Fanan. Fanan, a former Maccabi Tel Aviv vice chairman and team manager, committed suicide in October after incurring debt estimated at more than $20 million. Israeli Referees' Union chairman Reuven Virovnik notified the Israel Basketball Association on Tuesday that he has decided not to assign Bachar to any games for the next two weeks. The IBA said that it will consider taking further steps according to the findings and progress made in the investigation. "According to the information currently held by the IBA, Bachar's tax investigation has nothing to do with his role as an IBA referee," an IBA press release read. Bachar admitted on Monday to not paying tax in Israel on money earned abroad, but denied having any connection with Fanan and was released by the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court after posting NIS 550,000 bail. Bachar, who refereed in the Euroleague Final Four last season, will also not be officiating any games on the continent for the time being. "Due to the information appeared during this week regarding the personal situation of the International referee Mr. Shmuel Bachar, Euroleague Basketball has decided not to include him in this week's nomination list," A Euroleague press release read. "His situation will be evaluated during the resolution of this case." The BSL also released its first response regarding the Bachar investigation on Tuesday, stressing it has no authority to deal with the matter as the IBA is in charge of the referees. "The BSL has made significant efforts in the past to professionalize the referees, but all our attempts were rejected by the IBA," the BSL said on Tuesday. "Nevertheless, the BSL will be happy to assist the IBA in any way possible to help and clean the sport. The BSL calls on all parties to deal with the root cause of the matter."