The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) said that it will come up with a decision in the coming weeks regarding the situation of its competitions, which it suspended due to the novel coronavius disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
FIBA has suspended its activities indefinitely last March 12 as the virus has affected hundreds of thousands across the globe, becoming the first international federation to issue a general suspension of its competitions.
“In the coming weeks, a decision will be made regarding the Basketball Champions League, the Basketball Champions League Americas and the Basketball Africa League, after consultation with the respective leagues and clubs. The same applies to our international competitions suspended at sub-Zone level,” the message of FIBA President Hamane Niang and Secretary-General Andreas Zagklis said.
The virus has affected the basketball calendar even before it became a pandemic. Last February, three games in the 2021 Asia Cup Qualifiers’ first window were postponed, including Gilas Pilipinas’ match versus Thailand.
Now, affected also are various Olympic Qualifying Tournaments both in the 3×3 and 5-on-5 settings — the only completed OQT was the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournaments for Women last February in Belgium, France, and Serbia.
FIBA said that the International Olympic Committee is set to start a consultation phase with all international stakeholders in the possibility of a postponement, and the federation said that it is actively involved in the process.
“In terms of the Olympic Games, the IOC has made it clear that cancellation is not on the agenda. Yesterday, the IOC Executive Board announced that it is to start a four-week consultation phase with International Federations and other stakeholders regarding the possibility of postponement. FIBA is actively involved in this process.
“We understand that, as the qualification process has been completed only for women’s basketball and there are no less than six Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (two for 3×3 basketball and four for men’s basketball) still to be played, there is a growing need for answers to be provided quickly. FIBA’s position remains that any decision in that regard must ensure that it provides safe conditions of participation for our players, coaches, and officials,” FIBA added.
This includes the Philippine Men’s National 3X3 Basketball Team composed of Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, CJ Perez, and Mo Tautuaa, who have been training for the OQT but the sessions had to stop due to the pandemic.
Still, FIBA remains full of hope that the ball will soon roll once again, and the basketball community will only emerge stronger from this.
“We will keep you abreast of any developments in this rapidly changing landscape. Basketball games will be back and the basketball community will emerge stronger from this,” it said.
“But for now, please do everything you can to keep yourselves, your families and your communities safe.”