December 11, 2014

MIES, Switzerland (AP) The United States team may be going to Qatar to defend its basketball World Cup title in 2019 as the emirate seeks to add to its sports portfolio.

Qatar is among six bidders to host one of the tournament's next two editions, in 2019 or 2023, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) said Thursday.

China, Germany, the Philippines and Turkey also want to host one of the events. Germany may bid alone or with France.

The FIBA ruling board will choose the 2019 host in June, and may also pick the 2023 host from the remaining bidders.

''The commitment to growing basketball as well as to stage first-class sporting events is something they all have in common'' FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann said in a statement.

FIBA did not specify when the 32-nation 2019 tournament would be played. Its men's world championship traditionally starts in late-August and finishes in mid-September.

A USA team starring James Harden and Kyrie Irving beat Serbia 129-92 on Sept. 14 in Madrid to win the 2014 tournament.

FIBA is switching to odd-numbered years in 2019 in part to avoid FIFA World Cup years when broadcasters and sponsors are focused on the soccer tournament.

Qatar will host the soccer World Cup in 2022. The gas-rich emirate's events portfolio also includes the athletics worlds in 2019, and the handball worlds in January.

Though the IOC denied Qatari capital Doha candidate status for the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympics, a third bid is expected for the 2024 Games.

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