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Awarding automatic Tokyo 2020 places to Japan teams tops key decisions at FIBA Central Board's first meeting of 2019

ABIDJAN (Côte d'Ivoire) - FIBA's Central Board met for the first time in 2019 on Saturday-Sunday, March 30-31, in Côte d'Ivoire's biggest city of Abidjan.

Besides the Central Board granting automatic places to Japan's men's and women's national teams for the Olympic Basketball and 3x3 Basketball Tournaments at the Tokyo 2020 Games, here are the other key decisions, updates and main takeaways from the two-day meeting.

China 2019 Qualifiers conclude, World Cup draw in Shenzhen a unique spectacle

The Central Board received an update on the ongoing preparations for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. This included looking back on the conclusion of the Qualifiers with the sixth and final window in February, which confirmed the 32 countries that will participate in the biggest edition of FIBA's flagship competition.

The Board also relived some of the best moments of the World Cup draw held in the Chinese city of Shenzhen on March 16 and which was a first-of-its kind star-studded affair, headlined by World Cup ambassadors Kobe Bryant, Yao Ming and best-selling singer Jason Derulo.

Bulgaria and Romania confirmed as hosts of FIBA U17 Basketball World Cups in 2020

The Central Board confirmed the Bulgarian capital of Sofia and Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca as the respective hosts of the FIBA U17 Men and Women Basketball World Cups in 2020. 

Korea women to play with unified team

The Central Board took a resolution in principle that would enable the two national federations from the Korean peninsula - the Republic of Korea (KOR) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (PRK) - to participate in the FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2019 with a unified team.

There is precedent for this, with the neighboring countries having fielded a unified women's team at the Asian Games in 2018.

The move by the Central Board comes on the back of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announcing last month that it is considering allowing unified Korean women's teams to enter qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in four sports, including basketball. The FIBA Women's Asia Cup 2019 marks the first stage of FIBA's "Road to Tokyo 2020" for teams from Asia.

FIBA 3x3 Women's League closer to becoming reality

The Central Board approved the decision to move forward with the concept of having a 3x3 Women's League that would operate with national teams, thereby allowing national federations to prepare for major events such as the Olympics, World Cup and Continental Cups, while at the same time enabling players to get regular playing opportunities.

The Board was brought up to speed on the ongoing qualifications for next year's first-ever 3x3 Basketball Olympic Tournament, as well as what's in store this year on the pro circuit.

Program structure and upcoming activities for national federations revealed

On the matter of the support and development of FIBA's National Member Federations, the Central Board received a presentation on a program structure and a set of upcoming activities, including a targeted and tailor-made process for 24 of these national governing bodies of basketball.

Workshops focusing on three aspects - playing, coaching and officiating - have already started taking place. The Central Board also received reports from the Executive Directors of FIBA's five Zones regarding the progress of development projects at Zone and Sub-Zone levels.

New transfer regulations introduce Electronic Letter of Clearance among amendments made to FIBA Internal Regulations

The Central Board approved a series of amendments made to the FIBA Internal Regulations, including new transfer regulations. The introduction of an Electronic Letter of Clearance through FIBA's MAP platform - a multi-year project and the biggest-ever digital investment made by FIBA for its National Member Federations - will allow for the process to be further harmonized.

In other matters, the Central Board:
    • Approved the consolidated financial statements for 2018;
    • Received an update on activities carried out by the International Basketball Foundation, including in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The meeting was the first-ever convened by FIBA's Central Board in Abidjan. It enabled its members to attend the inauguration of FIBA Africa's new headquarters on Saturday as well as take in the action at the third Young Lions Cup from Friday-Sunday.


About FIBA
FIBA (fiba.basketball) - the world governing body for basketball - is an independent association formed by 213 National Basketball Federations throughout the world. It is recognized as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

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