The National Basketball League (NBL) has fined the Melbourne Tigers team $4,000 for playing import Ebi Ere in a pre-season game without an international clearance.

Ere suited up for the Tigers in their 125-106 pre-season win over the Townsville Crocodiles at the Mackay Basketball Stadium in Queensland on Saturday 6 September.

NBL interim Chief Executive Officer Chuck Harmison said that Ere played without obtaining the necessary Foreign Player Licence and International Clearance, and as a result the Tigers had been fined by the League.

“It’s a fairly basic rule that all import players need to get the necessary clearances from FIBA before playing for their new team, and unfortunately the Tigers failed to obtain these on Ere’s behalf before playing him on Saturday night,” said Harmison. “As a result, we were left with no alternative other than to impose sanctions against the Tigers.”

“As the infraction occurred in a pre-season game, we felt a fine was appropriate in this instance,” Harmison added. “If this had been a regular season game, they would potentially have faced the loss of competition points as well as a significantly larger fine, so this is a serious breach on their behalf.”