FIBA has awarded China the hosting rights for the 2019 World Cup.
China and the Philippines were the two finalists for the bid. The FIBA central board voted 14–7 in favor of China, who will host the event for the first time.
“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 Ming, former Houston Rockets center and ambassador for the Chinese bid, in a release. “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.”
Ming said he hoped the event would inspire more young Chinese athletes to pick up basketball. FIBA president Horacio Muratore called it a “difficult decision.” “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.”
Qualification for the 2019 event will include 140 teams over a 15-month period competing to narrow the field to 32. Eight cities, Beijing, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan and Dongguan will play host to competition.
- Jeremy Woo