Ukraine has not pulled out of hosting EuroBasket 2015 despite the tournament’s director Markiyan Lubkivsky announcing yesterday they had given up hosting rights due to the political crisis in the country, the European Basketball Federation (FIBA Europe) has claimed.
Lubkivsky told reporters the Ukrainian Basketball Federation (FBU) had been forced to pull out primarily due to the political and military crisis in the Crimea region.
He claimed the “situation demands for Ukraine to review our priorities and concentrate financial and political resources for saving territorial integrity and even independence.”
It has been claimed that Lubkivsky, who oversaw the running of the UEFA Euro 2012 Championships in Ukraine, was only giving a “purely private viewpoint” and had not consulted the FBU before making his comments.
In a statement sent to FIBA Europe, FBU President Oleksandr Volkov, denied Ukraine has pulled out of staging the event, or postponing it until 2017 as Lubkivsky had suggested.
He claimed the FBU “is currently in the phase of reorganising the Local Organising Committee to optimise its financial needs and use more effectively all resources to carry out the EuroBasket 2015 in Ukraine.”
The outcome of the reorganisation will be discussed at a meeting of the FIBA Europe Board due to take place this weekend in Munich where a final decision is likely to be made on whether the Ukraine will host the 24-team tournament.
Ukraine was awarded the tournament in December 2011 and was due to host games in Kyiv, Donetsk, Lviv, Odessa, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk.
On Tuesday, the French Basketball Federation (FFBB) submitted an offer to FIBA offering to host the tournament should the crisis in Ukraine escalate.
There have also been rumours of several other countries interested in hosting the event with Italy, Greece, Poland, Czech Republic, Serbia, Austria, Croatia and Germany among those reported to be ready to step in.
This article first appeared in www.insidethegames.biz and is reproduced with permission.