The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has postponed the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup to July 2022, in light of the coronavirus surge in Indonesia.
FIBA Asia Executive Director Hagop Khajirian announced the decision in a memorandum addressed to national federations on Friday (July 23), citing that numerous factors were taken into consideration such as the current travel restrictions and the overall safety of participants.
"FIBA Asia Board has carefully assessed the planning and organization of its upcoming Asia events in consultation with the FIBA Asia Board as well as key stakeholders and partners," Khajirian said in the letter.
"This evaluation has taken into consideration multiple aspects such as current travel restrictions, the well-being of the participants, fan access and experience, and the objective of ensuring the highest quality of events," it continued.
The continental showpiece was originally scheduled to be held on August of 2021 in Jakarta, Indonesia before the move to 2022 was implemented. Still, the event will be played as planned in the same host country.
13 national teams have already qualified to the FIBA Asia Cup, which include Gilas Pilipinas, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Bahrain, Iran, Kazakhstan, Syria, South Korea, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
Three more berths are still in contention in the rescheduled qualifers, which will still be held in late August.
For the distaff side, the FIBA Women's Asia Cup - Division A will proceed as scheduled from September 27 to October 3 in Amman, Jordan this year, while Division B will push through from November 7 to 13.
Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.
You may also be interested with: