Scottish champions Falkirk Fury have been forced to turn down a glamour clash against one of the giants of the British Basketball League due to lockdown rules.

The amateurs had won a wild card invite into the BBL Trophy next month with the potential of a David against Goliath clash on the table.

But Sportscotland have effectively barred the Fury from taking up their place on the grounds it is not an elite club, even though England’s non-league teams south of the border were given an exemption from Covid rules to train and play games against professional opponents.

And with doubts over whether they could even travel south of the border for an away tie, pulling out was the only option, coach John Bunyan admitted.

“Given the nature of the opposition and having had no meaningful training, that left us with no choice but to withdraw,” he said. “I believe there could have been a lot more dialogue back in September surrounding our training options and in turn our participation.

“It's disappointing not just for Fury, but for the grassroots side of Scottish basketball, that participation in this event is now limited to one Scottish club."

With the Scottish League’s 2020-21 campaign wiped out, Basketball Scotland have guaranteed that Falkirk can take up a spot in the following season’s Trophy.

An extra English team is expected to take the Fury’s place when the first round draw is staged next month.