December 12 -  Britain's men's basketball team, including Chicago Bull superstar Luol Deng (pictured), have not been awarded a wild-card to next year's World Championships in Turkey, it was announced today.

FIBA, the world governing body, decided to grant the four wild-cards to Germany, Lebanon, Lithuania and Russia.

British Basketball had hoped FIBA would take their achievements to date into consideration, along with their continued quest for a place at London 2012.

This summer Britain led Spain, the reigning World Champions and eventual winners of the European Championships, by four points in their group game.

Chris Spice, British Basketball's performance director, said: "First of all congratulations to Germany, Russia, Lithuania and Lebanon.

"We are understandably disappointed that we have not be granted a wild-card as we strongly believe that we could have demonstrated our ability to compete against the best teams in the world, which is part of our criteria to achieve a place in 2012, but we thank FIBA for giving us careful consideration.

"We must now take a different path, which will be to qualify for EuroBasket 2011 next summer.

"If anything we arrived at this point in time much earlier than initially expected, which is credit to the players and coaching staff and we are proud to have been able to put ourselves into the mix.

"Finally I'd like to thank my colleagues on the British Basketball board who have worked so tirelessly on our application."

There was good news for British Basketball earlier in the week when UK Sport announced their review on funding.

British Basketball will receive £8.5 million in the period 2009-2013, which will be used preparing for London 2012.

Spice said: "We'd like to thank UK Sport for their continued support as it shows they have faith in us to deliver both the short term 2012 goals and our long term strategy of qualifying in our own right for Rio 2016.

"We have to get better year on year by 20 per cent to hit our goals for London 2012, and that is a challenge we relish."

Britain must now wait until January 16 to find out who they will play next summer in qualifying for the European Championships.

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