The FIBA Europe Board convened on Tuesday and decided to cancel a raft of summer events.
The European Championships, in which Great Britain’s male and female u16, u18 and u20 teams were due to take part, are among the events ruled out because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The meeting, which took place via video conference, was chaired by FIBA Europe President Turgay Demirel, with FIBA President Hamane Niang, FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis and FIBA Executive Director Europe Kamil Novak also in attendance.
In opening proceedings, Mr Demirel announced the creation of a FIBA Europe Post-COVID-19 Roadmap. The project will carefully assess the current situation in Europe and prepare guidelines of how to bring European basketball back on track. It will be presented in the next Board in May.
Mr Demirel said: “I have the utmost trust that we can work together and help each other to solve the issues that this crisis has brought along.”
Taking into consideration the critical and extraordinary situation across Europe resulting from the pandemic and in order to protect the health and safety of young players, coaches, officials and fans, the Board decided, because of the high volume of events, to cancel all 16 of this summer’s FIBA European Championships as well as the Women’s Summit in Postojna, Slovenia.
The cancellation of the events would mean that:
- All 2020 hosts should be granted first access to host the same tournament in 2021 if they wish to do so. Otherwise a candidature procedure will be opened as per the usual timeline in Autumn 2020;
- No promotion/relegation in any category;
- Teams for the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2021 will qualify using the current FIBA World Ranking Youth Men presented by Nike;
- Teams for the FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup 2021 will qualify using the current FIBA World Ranking Youth Women presented by Nike;
- The registrations for all Youth European Championships will be done normally for 2021 as National Federations will register teams based on strength of the respective generations and also the financial situation. Subsequently there will be a new Draw for 2021.
SMALL COUNTRIES CHAMPIONSHIPS
The 2020 men’s and women’s Small Countries Championships, scheduled for this summer, have been cancelled too. The Small Countries Commission will now convene to work out the best option for the Small Countries and present it at the next meeting of the Board in May.
FIBA EUROBASKET AND WOMEN’S EUROBASKET
The Board discussed in extent options about next year’s FIBA EuroBasket and the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket, following the postponement of the Olympic Games.
Mr. Demirel pointed out the importance of the two FIBA Europe flagship events and proposed to carefully evaluate all options.
Both Championships will be brought to the FIBA Executive Committee on Thursday, regarding their possible impact on the FIBA Calendar, before FIBA Europe will consult the LOCs and take decision.
With regard to the three FIBA Europe club competitions 2019-2020 that have been suspended until the end of the season (EuroLeague Women; EuroCup Women; FIBA Europe Cup), the Board agreed that the best available option for achieving a satisfactory closure to these three competitions are season-ending tournaments in September and/or October 2020 in the following formats– a Final Four for FIBA Europe Cup; a Final Eight for EuroLeague Women and a Final Eight for EuroCup Women. Each tournament to be organized in one destination.
The FIBA Europe will now consult all clubs, National Federations as well as ULEB to try and reach a consensus among all stakeholders before a decision is made by the Board in May.
In order to mitigate at least the financial effect brought on by the cancellation of the summer’s events the Board agreed that FIBA Europe will pay in full the youth events’ Youth Participation Fee to all National Federations.
Mr. Novak said of the decision: “We thought it is important to support our National Federations in this time of crisis and give them at least part of the means to successfully restart their youth activities once the crisis is over.”
FIBA Europe will also keep an open line with all organizers of this summer’s events regarding fees and an outlook to 2021.
The Board agreed that a slightly different approach is required with regard to the Youth Development Fund program. The funding of projects will continue even if their delivery is delayed, due to the current crisis.
FIBA Europe will keep track of all developments and their impact on the program will be evaluated by the Board as part of the Post-COVID-19 Roadmap.
The FIBA Europe General Assembly, originally scheduled for next month, in Vilnius, Lithuania, has been postponed to Autumn 2020. The final date will be confirmed during the next Board meeting.