THESE are anxious days for Scottish basketball, which must be increasingly lamenting having surrendered independence for the sake of having one Scot in the British Olympic basketball team.

Forming a GB team, rather than retaining separate English, Scottish, and Welsh representation post London 2012, was part of the price Scotland paid to allow GB to compete. Scotland could trace membership of the world body back to 1947; they were the 74th member to join a federation now more than 200 nations strong, and when they caved in it polarised national feelings.

FIBA, the world body - not for the first time - had the British Olympic Association jumping through hoops. They are controlling and prescriptive beyond any other world sports federation, with the exception of FIFA. FIBA's Swiss general secretary, Patrick Baumann - both judge and jury as an IOC member and also on the London 2012 coordination commission - stopped fractionally short of bullying, threatening to exclude Britain from its own Olympics.

A demand for a UK team in future was but a fraction of his legacy demands. Baumann even wanted the new UK basketball body to have its offices in one of the newly-built 2012 venues. Hints and half promises - the Scots were even given to understand they would be guaranteed access to the Commonwealth Games tournament - have come to nought. Before the Games, FIBA brokered the demise of the Commonwealth Basketball body, saying they would take care of it. They axed it in less than a year.

Basketball's post-Olympic status, battling UK Sport for funding, is well documented but Scotland's plight is no better. Olympic uncertainty makes courting corporate marketing and sponsorship partners almost impossible. Ditto Scotland, regarding the Commonwealth Games.

Basketball was absent in Glasgow and from Delhi 2010. It was last on the Games programme in 2006. This has had dire financial consequences. With diminished profile, ineligible for the Games and consequently for sportscotland funding available to the 17 Games sports, basketball was unable even to afford insurance premiums to indemnify NBA and other professional outfits should one of their players be injured while on Scotland duty.

Most sports organise Commonwealth championships, but with the relevant body consigned to oblivion by FIBA, that's now impossible for basketball. Scotland lacks access to meaningful international competition. Nobody wants to play a nation unranked by FIBA. Bullish talk of small nations' events and Scandinavian tournaments has proved mostly hot air. Internationally Scotland operates in a vacuum, with no proper international programme.

And now FIBA is up to its old tricks. This time the Gold Coast organisers of the 2018 Commonwealth Games are the victims.

A spokesman for the Commonwealth Games Federation admitted to The Herald that they have "received correspondence from FIBA relating to their aspirations for their sport at the Commonwealth Games".

They were coy about the precise nature, but Inside the Games quotes FIBA sports director Kosta Ilievs as saying they "have understanding from the Commonwealth Games Committee (sic) to accept 3x3".

This is despite Gold Coast having the traditional 5x5 basketball format in their bid manifesto, and facilities already having been built. FIBA seem intent on rail-roading another major sports organiser into performing to their agenda.

The CGF confirms: "A wider review of the Sports Programme for 2022 and beyond is underway to further develop the Commonwealth Games as a world-class showcase of sport for inspiring athletes from the nations and territories of the Commonwealth. This review will be considered for approval this September at the CGF General Assembly in Auckland, New Zealand."

They add that, for 2018, "any modifications to sports and disciplines would require the assessment and endorsement of the Organising Committee and formal approval by the CGF".

Australia would undoubtedly lose money on 3x3. They would have been contenders for gold in both men's and women's tournaments, guaranteed a full house and whacking gate receipts for likely finals against New Zealand or Canada. The 3x3 version is very much more of a lottery.

Yet FIBA see 3x3 as the future of their sport. It has featured in the past two editions of the Youth Olympics, in Singapore and Nanjing, and in the Asian Youth Games and Asian Beach Games. It's on the schedule for the inaugural European Games in Baku this year, and there is already a World Tour, and European and World Championships.

Whisper it quietly: a switch from the traditional version might appeal to the CGF because it would mean fewer competitors overall. It's hinted there would be only four or six 3x3 teams in Gold Coast, making it even less likely Scotland would qualify. From a Scottish perspective, team sports in the Games remain an expensive luxury. In Twenty-20 cricket, men's and women's hockey, netball, and rugby sevens, despite all the millions spent, Scotland has yet to play in any match where victory would have earned a medal.

One might imagine that with fewer players required, Scotland might find a 3x3 team easier to muster. In the long term, perhaps. Finland, with a smaller population than Scotland, is high in the FIBA rankings. But Scotland has never been renowned for streetballers, which is basically what 3x3 is.

Intrusive FIBA have far too much say in the Commonwealth Games, attempting to dictate terms for a tournament with little evidence of any qualifying tournament. The federation should run its Games for the athletes, not pander to the whims of FIBA's development programme.