Ukraine was stripped on Friday of its right to host the 2015 European men's basketball championship because of ongoing civil unrest in the war-torn country, the Associated Press reported.
The 24-team tournament was to take place across three cities in the eastern part of the country, but those locations are still volatile due to clashes between government troops and pro-Russian separatists.
In a statement to the AP, FIBA Europe said it will "start negotiations immediately" to allow Ukraine to host the tournament in 2017, but it's too risky right now to bring the championships there:
"The decision was taken after a careful consideration of the continuous political situation and security issues in Ukraine, which deemed as less than favorable for the staging of such an important and demanding event."France, the reigning champion over Lithuania in last year's final in Slovenia, had submitted a formal bid in May to host the tournament. The country is now a "leading candidate" to become the host next year, according to the report. All bids must be filed by the end of July with an announcement of the winner for next year's tourney expected September 30.