While sport is hugely important, there are times when it needs to take a back seat and it’s prominence in life should be underplayed. Given the current state of life in the Ukraine at the moment, it is easy to see why many people who love sport are finding it difficult to focus on their favourite games. There is a lot to be said for sport providing people with help and focus but with so much uncertainty and instability in the country at the moment, it is difficult to arrange events and keep to sporting schedules.
This is why the FIBA Europe board, during a meeting in Much on Friday the 13th of June, decided to move the EuoBasket 2015 tournament away from the Ukraine. The board made the decision after a lengthy process and deliberation surrounding the security issues and the political situation in the country. The final decision decreed that staging such a large scale and important event in the country would be too demanding a prospect.
This was not a decision the Board took lightly and they were at pains to point out that the Ukrainian Federation and the country as a whole has made bold moves forward in recent years with respect to basketball. On the court, the team has enjoyed a sixth placed finish at the 2013 EuroBasket event and the national team will be taking part in the forthcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Ukraine may be able to host the 2017 EuroBasket event
The Ukraine Federation has worked hard to improve and promote basketball in the country and FIBA Europe is looking into ways to ensure that this momentum is not lost. Talks have begun to look into the possibility of Ukraine hosting the 2017 EuroBasket event. There will be a need for conditions to be met but if these points can be met, there is still a strong chance that Ukraine will be welcoming the cream of European basketball before too long.
As for the 2015 FIBA EuroBasket, a new bidding process has begun and it is open to all of the federations in European basketball. There is an opportunity for single country bids or bids shared by a number of countries. There is a need for all interested parties to have submitted guarantees and official documentation by the 31st of July. The decision on where the 2015 EuroBasket will take place is likely to be announced by the 30th of September 2014.
The board has also taken the opportunity to bring in the competition system, which was scheduled to begin in 2017. This means that the 2015 EuroBasket will be taking place from the 5th of September to the 20th of September and there will be 24 teams taking part. The 24 teams will be placed into four groups, with all of the groups having six teams in them. After this, there will be a knockout phase of the tournament.
While changes of this nature are not helpful at such an advanced stage, given the current situation in Ukraine, it is understandable why FIBA Europe has taken such a decision.