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  • FIBA Europe Underlines Support for New Competition and Champions League


    REYKJAVIK, Iceland – The FIBA Europe Board convened a meeting on Saturday, March 24, in the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik, during which it discussed a wide range of topics and took some important decisions.

    The meeting was hosted by the Icelandic Basketball Federation, as an honor to the memory of former FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson, who passed away five years ago.


    The Board heard that record attendances across Europe – where arena occupancy averaged 80 percent - and worldwide had contributed to the overwhelming success of the first two windows of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers, which had also generated astonishing digital reach underscoring their popularity and the importance of the national teams to the basketball community.

    The FIBA Europe Board has given its full support to the new competition system which sees national teams playing home-and-away qualifying games for major tournaments throughout the year.

    The members also emphasized their commitment to the Basketball Champions League, an innovative 50-50 partnership between FIBA and European Leagues. They reviewed statistics demonstrating the continued growth of the competition which is overperforming in digital engagement in only its second year.

    The Board unanimously rejected the latest proposal from Euroleague Commercial Assets (ECA), viewing it as an effort to harm European basketball stakeholders (federations, leagues, other clubs and players) and voiced their concerns over ECA's practices.


    The Board heard updates regarding preparations and promotion for FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2019 including the successful launch of the tournament logo on March 8.

    More importantly, the Board approved a request by the two co-hosts of the tournament to choose a partner Federation from the qualified teams that will be automatically placed into their group for the Group Phase. This concept has been successfully tested and implemented during the men's FIBA EuroBasket 2015 and 2017.

    The Board also considered and accepted a proposal brought forward by the two co-hosts to confirm the tournament dates as June 27 to July 7.

    The FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2019 Group Phase will be hosted in Riga (Latvia); and Nis and Zrenjanin (Serbia).

    The Final Phase will be played in Belgrade Arena (Serbia).


    Under its "Early Designation" plan the Board considered candidacies for three 2019 European Youth Championships – FIBA U20 European Championship Men, Division A and B; and FIBA U18 European Championship Men, Division A.

    After careful consideration the Board awarded the three events as follows:

    FIBA U20 European Championship 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel

    FIBA U20 European Championship 2019, Division B in Radom, Poland (if the Polish team advances to Division A this summer the event will be hosted in Matosinhos, Portugal)

    FIBA U18 European Championship 2019 in Volos, Greece.The competition dates will be confirmed at a later stage.


    The Board convened in Reykjavik as guests of the Icelandic Basketball Federation (KKI), to mark the anniversary of former FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson's passing five years ago.

    The Icelandic Federation organized a visit to Mr Rafnsson's home and a meeting with his widow, Gerdur, on Saturday, March 24.

    On behalf of the FIBA and Olympic families, FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, Patrick Baumann, thanked Gerdur for the values that Olafur Rafnsson represented and defended during his career as both basketball player and administrator.

    Mr Rafnsson served as FIBA Europe President (2010-13) as well as President of the Icelandic Basketball Federation and chairman of the National Olympic and Sports Association of Iceland.

    On Friday, the Board, led by President Mr Turgay Demirel and KKI President Hannes Jonsson had visited Mr Rafnsson's grave in Reykjavik.

    On the same day, Mr Demirel and Board members also met with the President of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson in his residence.

    FIBA Communications Europe

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