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China to host the 2019 FIBA World Cup
At FIBA's announcement ceremony in Tokyo, Japan, China has been announced as the winning bid to host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Following a 17 month bidding process, China overcame a strong bid from the Philippines to prevail in the final vote 14-7.
China will host the event for the first time, the last of which was held in Spain won by the USA with Australia finishing in 12th place after a controversial loss to Angola.
China's most famous basketball player and former NBA star Yao Ming was an Ambassador for the China 2019 bid. He was ecstatic that China had been chosen to host the event at the site of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
“It’s such an exciting moment to bring the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup to China and I’m sure that millions of fans are sharing this joy with us," expressed Yao Ming.
China plan on using eight different venues in eight different cities, including Beijing, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan and Dongguan.
Horacio Muratore, the President of FIBA, wax excited by China's strong bid and the chance for the FIBA World Cup to enter a new era of qualification and competition in growing the game worldwide.
“We look forward to the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, which will be the first of a new era with 140 teams competing during a 15-month qualification period to be among the 32 playing in China," stated Muratore.
In reverting to a new World Cup format expanded to include 32 teams, FIBA have moved the event from 2018 to commence a new four-year cycle from 2019 onwards to avoid clashing with other international events such as the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Of the 32 teams to play in the World Cup, 1 place is allocated to the host nation (China), 5 from FIBA Africa, 7 from FIBA Americas, 7 from FIBA Asia/Oceania and 12 from FIBA Europe. The format will ensure the best teams from across the globe will be included, with the reigning Olympic champions not provided with automatic entry and instead being required to qualify.
World Cup qualification will see all teams undertaking a minimum 15-month campaign that would take place from November 2017. For Australia, and New Zealand, this will result in more home and away qualification games, including those against the best teams in Asia. It enhances their chances of both qualifying, especially with no wildcard qualification planned as has been the case in the past.
China has successfully hosted events in the past, and has many great venues to host what is anticipated will be a fantastic event.