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FIBA takes action to postpone and cancel major events in wake of Coronavirus threat
With the global threat posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), after careful consideration, FIBA has taken preventative measure by postponing a cancelling a number of major upcoming events.
Among a number of events postponed include the critical FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualification Tournament which had been scheduled to be played in Bengaluru, India, from March 18 to 22. The tournament's intention is to finalise the field for the debut of 3x3 basketball at the Olympics, which for now remains uncertain. Australia's 3x3 women's team will be forced to wait for their chance to play for a chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
According to the official release, FIBA advises that they are working in close collaboration with the International Olympic Committee the best solution possible in the circumstances, noting that the FIBA 3x3 OQT needs to be played before the FIBA 3x3 Universality Olympic Qualifier Tournament scheduled to be played in Budapest, Hungary, from April 24 to 26.
Other FIBA 3x3 events to be impacted include the FIBA 3x3 Asia and FIBA 3x3 U17 Asia Cup. The FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup that was to be held in Changsha, China, from May 13 to 17 to September 9 to 13, while the FIBA 3x3 U17 Asia Cup in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, from June 4 to 7 has now been rescheduled to October 8 to 11.
While most events impacted have been postponed, FIBA has taken action to cancel two events that Australia were to be involved in.
The FIBA U16 Asian Championships for both men and women have both been cancelled. The FIBA U16 Asian Championship 2019 to be hosted by Beirut, Lebanon from April 5 to 12 has been cancelled, while the women’s version that was to be played in Canberra, Australia from April 5 to 10 has also been cancelled.
Due to the cancellation of the FIBA U16 Asian Championships which serve as qualifiers for the FIBA U17 World Cup, the current top 4 ranked Asian-Oceania teams will automatically qualify. This means that for the men, Australia (11), China (14), Korea (19) and Japan (27) will head to Bulgaria in July, while for the women, Australia (7), China (10), Japan (11) and Korea (18) will all head to Romania in August.
FIBA advises that it will continue to monitor the situation closely and will not hesitate to implement any further measures should they be required in light of the threat posed by the threat of COVID-19.