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Coronavirus restrictions force postponement of FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in Qatar
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has advised that qualifying matches for its Asia Cup in the Qatar capital of Doha - due to commence this week - have been postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
With Doha was set to host matches in Groups A, B and E from Wednesday (17th February) until 23rd February new safety regulations imposed by the Qatari authorities have caused the postponement.
Being held during FIBA’s ‘February window’, the Qatari capital had originally been scheduled to hold matches in Group E, comprising Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the host country.
Doha was also then allocated Groups A and B.
The Philippines was originally scheduled to be host Group A, with the host country set to be joined by South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand while Group B - comprising Japan, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia and China - was to be held in Tokyo.
All three groups are now in jeopardy after Qatari authorities reimposed restrictions due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Indoor gatherings have been limited to up to five people and facilities such as indoor swimming pools have been closed.
FIBA is looking into alternative solutions for the three groups, including for the additional qualification tournament among the third-ranked teams in each group.
Matches in Group D and F will still take place as scheduled in Manama in Bahrain.
Group D comprises Lebanon, Bahrain, India and Iraq, while Group F is made up of Jordan, Kazakhstan, Palestine and Sri Lanka.
A Group C clash between Australia and New Zealand is also still set for this Saturday (20th February) in Cairns.
The top two teams in each group are due to advance to this year’s FIBA Asia Cup, with the third-place finishers competing in a final qualification round.
A total of 16 teams will contest the tournament in Indonesia.
The event dates were amended to avoid a clash with the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics, with the event now due to run from 16th to 28th August.
Confirming the postponement, the Lebanon-based FIBA Regional Office Asia advised “in order to finalise the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers, FIBA is currently looking into alternative solutions with potential hosts for the games of this window and for the additional qualification tournament among the third-ranked teams in each group.”
Image promoting the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers in Qatar courtesy of FIBA Regional Office Asia.
18th December 2020 - Qatar opens latest 2022 World Cup venue
25th November 2020 - Qatar to stage FIFA Arab Cup as World Cup 2022 test event
1st October 2020 - Global sports survey shows impact of COVID-19 pandemic
31st August 2020 - Qatar’s Al Bayt Stadium achieves outstanding sustainability rating
23rd April 2020 - Qatar and Saudi Arabia enter rival bids to host 2030 Asian Games
18th March 2020 - Audio system installed at Qatar’s Al Janoub Stadium
29th August 2019 - FIBA and Atrium Sports partner to deliver new ‘connected stadiums’ venture
27th April 2018 - Chinese city to host inaugural Fiba World Basketball Summit
24th November 2017 - Infront China agrees ticketing partnership for 2019 FIBA World Cup
13th September 2015 - Doha prepares for hosting IPC Athletics World Championships
21st May 2012 - FIBA establishes global media and marketing unit
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