International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has picked China as the host of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, the first time that China will host FIBA’s flagship event.
During the Host Announcement Ceremony on Friday in Tokyo Japan, FIBA announced that China won the bid to host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, beating the Philippines.
China and the Philippines, the two finalists who submitted their bids, each gave presentations during the ceremony. The board voted 14 in favor of China’s bid, with 7 backing the Philippines.
Yao Ming, the Ambassador for the China 2019 and who played at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, said that this would help China to inspire more young athletes to pick up basketball.
“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,” said Yao. “We have to pay tribute to the Philippines delegation. They were great opponents. Only opponents like them could really push us to our limits to test how capable we are. Even if we were opponents on this occasion, we still have a friendship with them.”
Basketball Association of the Philippines President Manny Pangilinan said that despite falling short of winning the bid to host FIBA World Cup, the country still benefited for getting an opportunity to show the Filipinos’ passion for the sport.
“This was a very difficult decision because we had two national federations who did excellent work. However, there can only be one host country for our event in 2019 and it will be China,” said FIBA President Horacio Muratore. “We would like to congratulate both national federations for their outstanding work and bids. This is what we wanted: to have national federations put together top quality bids to host our flagship event.”
Muratore also added that 140 teams will compete during a 15-month qualification period to be among the 32 final teams playing in China. A total of eight Chinese cities, namely Beijing, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan and Dongguan, will co-host the World Cup in 2019.