Referees in Gilas Pilipinas-Australia Boomers brawl banned for a year

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 19) — FIBA, the governing body of basketball  in the world, on Thursday suspended for a year the three referees in the 2019 World Cup Asian Qualifiers game between the Philippines and Australia.

FIBA's official statement announcing sanctions on players and coaches involved in a brawl during the July 2 game also ordered the immediate removal of the officiating crew from the FIBA Elite Program.

 "Following a thorough evaluation by a group of experts of the officiating during the game, the FIBA Secretary General has decided that the referees of the game shall be removed with immediate effect from the FIBA Elite Program and shall not be nominated to any international competitions organized or recognized by FIBA (including at Zone and Sub-zone level) for a period of one year," the statement read.

The referees are Ahmed Al Bulushi of Oman, Hatim Alharbi of Saudia Arabia, and Paul Skayem of Lebanon.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Chairman Sonny Angara had earlier requested for a review of the officiating in the controversial match. (LINK: He pointed out that that the fight would not have taken place if the referees had been more stern with their calls.

"As the referees, they should also judge the temperature of the game. It's not just the calls on the court. If you know it's getting hot, you have to cool it down. That's something we should look at," Angara said in an interview with CNN Philippines Sports Desk on July 4.

The FIBA disciplinary panel on Thursday announced the suspensions of 13 Gilas Pilipinas and Australian players following its investigation of the incident.

Gilas head coach Chot Reyes and assistant coach Jong Uichico also faced suspensions, while the SBP was sanctioned and fined for unsportsmanlike behavior of the delegation members as well as the public.

READ: FIBA suspends 13 players, coaching staff involved in Gilas-Australia brawl