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EuroBasket tourney coming to France in 2015

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EuroBasket tourney coming to France in 2015
France will host part of Europe's biggest basketball tournament in 2015. Photo: Jure Makovec/AFP
09:20 CEST+02:00
In a nod to the French love of basketball, organizers of the EuroBasket tournament announced Monday they will hold part of the international championship in France.

France, Croatia, Germany and Latvia were awarded on Monday the right to co-host EuroBasket 2015 while France will host the final knockout stage of the biennial tournament.

"This is an important moment in the history of European basketball, as we have voted not only for the hosts of next year's event but also on pioneering a new concept, with four hosts," said FIBA Europe President Turgay Demirel.

"France has a strong federation, a strong team and they wanted to play at home. They deserved to host the finals," he said.

It will be the first time in history that the event, which will run from September 5-20, will be hosted in multiple countries.

FIBA Europe's Board voted on the hosts at an extraordinary meeting in Madrid at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

The four first round host cities will be hosted in Berlin, Montpellier, Riga and Zagreb while the finals will be played at the Lille Arena, which seats 27,000 spectators.

"There are a lot of emotions. It's a long story which started in 2010 with Germany and I am happy that this finally happened," said French basketball federation president Jean-Pierre Siutat. "Now we need to start work."

Germany and France were the spearheads of the bid, wanting to commemorate the end of World War II 70 years later by co-hosting the event.

The two countries originally had planned to co-host the event alone before bringing in Croatia and Italy as fellow first round co-hosts. The bid was eventually withdrawn and Ukraine was awarded the event.

Political dispute in Ukraine caused FIBA Europe to re-locate the competition and bids were taken.

Eight countries - Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Latvia, Poland and Turkey - submitted official bids to host or co-host the event.

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