The FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualification Tournament, which was scheduled to be held in Bengaluru, India, has been pushed to a further date following the outbreak of coronavirus.
The international governing body of basketball, FIBA, in a statement released on Wednesday said that it was working with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to figure out the best possible solution in such a circumstance.
“The FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualification Tournament, which was scheduled to be held in Bengaluru, India, from March 18 to 22, 2020, has been postponed,” the FIBA statement read.
"FIBA is now working in close collaboration with the International Olympic Committee, on the best solution possible in the circumstances, considering that this tournament needs to take place before the FIBA 3x3 Universality Olympic Qualifier Tournament scheduled to be played in Budapest, Hungary, from April 24 to 26, 2020.”
The FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualification Tournament was to be held in Bengaluru, Karnataka, from March 18-22.
But with the spread of the novel coronavirus in various parts of the world, the Ministry of External Affairs has placed restrictions on visitors from a few countries. This includes the likes of Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan.
Meanwhile, the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) Secretary-General Chander Mukhi Sharma said from an organiser’s perspective, the BFI was not willing to take any risk and will abide by the central government’s policy on dealing with the situation.
"FIBA communicated its decision to us and there was really no other option," Basketball Federation of India (BFI) secretary Chandermukhi Sharma told ESPN India.
"Since teams from affected countries were supposed to travel here and with the visa ban in place postponement was the only alternative. At our end, we had already booked hotels for the teams so obviously, its a loss. Right now we don't have much clarity on when it will be scheduled for next."
The FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualification Tournament was to see 20 teams each in the men’s and the women’s half fight it out for the six remaining slots for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.