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FIBA Europe Board approves alternative format for Youth Competitions, new dates for Small Countries Championships
MUNICH (Germany) - The 13th meeting of the FIBA Europe Board term of office 2019-2023 took place via videoconference on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.
The session was chaired by FIBA Europe President Turgay Demirel, with FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis and FIBA Europe Secretary General/FIBA Executive Director Europe Kamil Novak also in attendance.
Following the opening remarks by Mr. Demirel, a report on recent FIBA Europe activities, including an account of the very successful FIBA EuroBasket 2022 draw in Berlin, was presented by Mr. Novak.
Among the many items covered in the meeting, the Board deliberated over the organization and format of the 2021 men's and women's FIBA European Championships for Small Countries and Youth Competitions following discussion in the Medical, Youth and Competitions Commissions.
The Board, reflecting the wish of most National Federations to play official youth competitions in Summer 2021 and having taken into consideration the fact that organizing a large number of tournaments of 16 or more teams is not feasible in the current situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, approved a solution to organize smaller tournaments – the FIBA Youth European Challengers 2021 – during the period foreseen for the respective category.
The following format and principles for these official tournaments were approved by the Board:
- The events are to be played on a voluntary participation basis, with promotion/relegation to be frozen across Divisions A, B and C;
- The Top 18 ranked teams (16 currently in Division A, plus two additional teams by 2019 ranking in respective category) to play three tournaments of six teams each;
- All other registered teams, ranked 19 and lower, to play in tournaments of up to six teams each;
- One tournament of up to six teams to be created with the lowest-ranked teams to accommodate Division C and Small Countries;
- All tournaments to be played in Round Robin format, with groups to be created by "serpentine" style allocation, taking the hosting situation into consideration.
The method of qualification for the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cups 2022 will also be adapted accordingly, with the FIBA U16 European Challengers 2021 and the FIBA U16 Women's European Challengers 2021 qualifying five teams each for the respective global event. With FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2022 hosts Spain and FIBA U17 Women's Basketball World Cup 2022 hosts Hungary qualified for the respective event automatically, the tournaments with the U17 World Cup hosts will qualify one additional team. The two remaining tournaments will qualify two teams each.
The Board also approved the proposal to grant the hosts of the 2021 Youth European Championships, which will not take place, first access to organize the respective events in 2022.
Similarly, the Board decided that the early designations for 2022 tournaments will be deferred to 2023.
Due to the situation related to the COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland and Cyprus, the Board approved the proposal by the Small Countries Commission to postpone the FIBA Women's European Championship for Small Countries 2021 in Cyprus until July 20-25, 2021; and the FIBA European Championship for Small Countries 2021 in Ireland until August 10-15, 2021 and, in parallel, find an alternative host if Ireland is unable to organize.
The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European Pre-Qualifiers Second Round, will also be played in bubbles, from August 12-18, 2021.
The Board was also presented with a report about the fifth Basketball Champions League season and the huge recent success of the 2021 Final Eight in Nizhny Novgorod, where the organization by the hosts was praised and TV production hailed as one of the best ever in club competitions.
Other items discussed by the Board in the meeting included updates on the award process for the FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2023 and the recently concluded European Club Competitions, approval of the FIBA Europe Regulations 2021/2022, including setting the framework for the upcoming club competition season, and reports from the Youth Commission, Competitions' Commission and the General Assembly of EuroLeague Women Clubs. The Board also approved an application for a new Erasmus+ Project.
The next meeting of the Board of FIBA Europe will take place in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on October 1, 2021.
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).