UK LINING UP BID FOR 2017 EUROBASKET

British Basketball is set to bid to stage the 2017 European Championship finals by submitting a formal expression of interest early next year.

Outline plans to land Eurobasket 2015 for Men are likely to be put on hold after a joint bid from France and Germany was unveiled on Tuesday.  With Ukraine and Russia also signalling their interest in the tournament – which will serve as one of the main qualifying tournaments for the following year’s Olympic Games in Rio – the field is already crowded.

A feasibility study, financed by UK Sport, is currently being examined by British Basketball officials who have appointed consultants Capita Symonds to prepare a bid dossier that will be forwarded to FIBA Europe in the coming months.

However with a crowded field already for the next available event, hints are being dropped that the 2017 European finals could be a more realistic option.

“This piece of work will stand us in good stead for 2017 as well as 2015,” admitted British Basketball’s performance director Chris Spice (pictured left).

“We want to start talking to other countries in western Europe to make our interest known. But it may be a question of bidding anyway for 2015 because it’s rare to win on your first go.”

Under FIBA rules, the outline bid would be nominally made by England but it would be a de facto UK-wide submission.

“We’ll look at a number of different options,” Spice confirmed. “It could be a four-city or two-city event.”

The Franco-German bid for Eurobasket 2015 is now favourite to end up on top with Ingo Weiss, the president of Germany’s Basketball Federation, confident of success.

“We are convinced that the joint bid with France will prick up the ears in the basketball world and that we will have a good chance to hold the most important basketball event to France and Germany,” Weiss said.

“Now, we will focus on developing our concept further to present it to FIBA Europe.”

Lithuania will host next year’s finals with Slovenia almost certain to land 2013 after Italy, its sole rival, withdrew its bid.

GB bound for Brazil

Great Britain’s men will start their competitive preparations for next summer’s Eurobasket finals by competing in Brazil.

Luis Scola could lie in wait if GB meet Argentina (FIBA Archive)

Team GB have been invited to take part in a tournament against the Brazilians and Argentina with the latter two nations warming up for the Tournament of the Americas.

It is likely to see Chris Finch’s men hold training camp in the USA before moving onto South America.

They would then return to the UK for a planned six-team Olympic test event which is scheduled for August 16-21 in London, with Australia and China among the opponents.

“The biggest challenge is getting competition from outside Europe and with Brazil and those two countries, it ticks a lot of boxes,” Spice added.

The test tournament will be staged at the Olympic Basketball Arena which will be the venue for the group stages of the 2012 Games.

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