Ukraine gives up hosting 2015 Euro Basket
Ukraine was slated to host the 2015 Euro Basket Championship, but due to political uncertainty over Russia's annexation of Crimea and financial pressures, the country has given up hosting Europe's basketball championship next year.
The decision comes one day after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty to incorporate Crimea into Russia.
Organizing committee head Markiyan Lubkivsky said he could not envision Ukraine moving forward with preparations to host the tournament with ongoing political and financial strains. From the AP's report:
"This situation demands for Ukraine to review our priorities and concentrate financial and political resources for saving (the) territorial integrity and even independence," he said.
Lubkivsky also cited the country's financial crisis and difficulties in meeting commitments to build arenas in the host cities of Kiev, Donetsk, Lviv, Odessa, Kharkiv and Dniprpetrovsk.
"There is a need to resolve hard social issues of higher priority," he said. "It is obvious our country cannot afford to support private investors building the arenas or fund preparations that we are responsible for."
France has offered to host the 2015 tournament instead. Ukraine was awarded the biennial 24-team championship for 2015 in December 2011. Ukraine hopes to host the tournament in 2017, Lubkivsky said, because the country has already begun some preparation and construction.