Bengaluru, March 4: Sporting events have been cancelled, rescheduled or postponed around the world due to the coronavirus outbreak. On Wednesday (March 4), the FIBA 3x3 basketball Olympic qualifying tournament, scheduled to be held in Bengaluru from March 18 to 22, was postponed due to the outbreak.
This is the first sporting event to be put off in India owing to the virus outbreak that has so far claimed over 3,000 lives and infected more than 94000 people across the world after being first detected in Wuhan, China.
"The FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualification Tournament, which was scheduled to be held in Bengaluru, India, from March 18 to 22, 2020, has been postponed," Fédération Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) said in a statement.
"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," it further said.
Twenty teams each in men's and women's events were to participate in the event jointly organised by FIBA and Basketball Federation of India in a year which will witness the Olympic debut of 3x3 basketball.
Both the men's and women's teams are broken into four pools each. India are placed in Pool D alongside Latvia, Croatia, Canada and The Netherlands in the men's section while the women find themselves bunched together with Italy, Chinese Taipei, Switzerland and Spain.
Six Olympic spots (three each from men's and women's) are up for grabs which would then have the top two teams from each pool qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition. Former India cricket captain Anil Kumble had launched the logo of the tournament at a function here on Monday.
The coronavirus outbreak has already seen the postponement of numerous sporting events across the globe, including the World Indoor Track and Field championships, the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix, Moto GP races in Qatar and Thailand and several Serie A football games in Italy.
The other FIBA events that have been cancelled/rescheduled/postponed are listed below:
FIBA 3x3 Asia Cups rescheduled
The FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup 2020 in Changsha, China, from May 13 to 17, 2020, has been rescheduled to September 9 to 13, 2020. Also, the FIBA 3x3 U17 Asia Cup in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, from June 4 to 7, 2020, has been rescheduled to October 8 to 11, 2020.
FIBA U16 Asian Championships cancelled
The FIBA U16 Asian Championship 2019 in Beirut, Lebanon, from April 5 to 12, 2020, has been cancelled. Furthermore, the FIBA U16 Women's Asian Championship 2019 in Canberra, Australia, from April 5 to 10, 2020, has also been cancelled.
Basketball Africa League start postponed
The Basketball Africa League (BAL) has postponed the league's inaugural season, which had been scheduled to tip off Friday, March 13 in Dakar, Senegal.
Source: (With inputs from PTI & FIBA Release)