The Board of FIBA Europe has awarded Eurobasket 2007 to the national basketball federation of Spain. The 2007 European Championship for Women has been assigned to Italy.
In addition, the 2009 European Championship for Men will be hosted by the national basketball federation of Poland and the 2011 Championship by the national basketball federation of Lithuania.
|Spain officially seal their winning bid for 2007 with FIBA Europe|
The countries which have been selected today to host European Championships have a big task ahead of them. They have a lot of responsibility, but we are confident that they will do a good job, that they will be excellent representatives for FIBA Europe, and more importantly, for basketball."
The Spanish Basketball Federation's International Relations Manager Jose Montero presented their bid, which centres on the cities of Alicante, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca and Granada.
"As you can imagine, we are very happy," said Montero after the decision was made to award Eurobasket 2007 to Spain.
"Last week a new generation of managers came into the Spanish federation and Eurobasket was a key part of our electoral campaign. From a sports point of view it was also very important for us because I think Pau Gasol and Juan Carlos Navarro’s generation will be 28, 29 in 2007 and in their prime, so we can try to be European champion for the first time in our history.
I think this was a very important day for FIBA Europe and for us, because of the support we received. Many of the delegates complimented us on the work of our federation and that is very gratifying for us, because it means we are working well and going in the right direction.
Another key goal is transferring our experience and expertise to the future. We don’t only want to work on Eurobasket in Spain, but we want to help FIBA Europe to ensure that all events are organised to the highest level. When the championship is over, we will make sure that our experience can help future countries, such as Poland and Lithuania in organising the event."
Italian Basketball Federation, Fausto Maifredi, was equally thrilled with the appointment of the 2007 European Championship for Women to his country.
"This is a very important result for us and now we must start to put into reality everything that we promised in our bid presentation," said Maifredi. "We have a lot of work ahead of us and many people are working towards this event. Our national federation and regional offices are all working together and I’m sure they will do their best to ensure the success of the championship."
The national federations of Poland and Lithuania will have to wait longer for their turn to host FIBA Europe's premier events, but there was still plenty of excitment at the news of their
|Marek Palus (centre left) with George Vassilakopoulos (far right) and Nar Zanolin (far left) |
"I’m very satisfied because we are competing with strong basketball countries and I think to be in such good company is a challenge for us," said Polish Federation President Marek Palus.
We hope that Poland, the big country in the middle of Europe, can help FIBA Europe to promote basketball in this area. Having such a big event at home will be very helpful to promote basketball which is very popular, but could be more popular with Eurobasket.
I think our country has a strong bid. The population, the number of basketball fans, good facilities and good accessibility of the country were all factors working for us. So far our weaker point is the results of our national team, but I hope that having this championship we can prepare a good developmental programme for the national team, so because of that, this decision is important for us.
It (Poland) is a big country but there are no important international events coming up. So not only for basketball fans, but all people that support sport, this event will be very important and of course, not only for sports people but for the promotion of our country as a place to invest, to visit. I think that such an important event in a very popular discipline helps not only basketball but generally our country as a member of the EU."
Lithuania has long been one of European basketball's premier hotbeds. 2011 may be 7 years away, but homegrown superstars such as Arvydas Sabonis are already looking forward to the event.
"It’s not difficult to explain what this means to Lithuania," said Sabonis, who was present in Estonia as a member of the Lithuanian delegation. "Basketball is our no.1 sport and we are a 3-time European Champion. We are now in the European Union and we are a small, but progressive country. We don’t have too many arenas, apart from Vilnius but we have the chance to build more in other cities which is very important for our country.
It’s important for a small country like ours to be given the opportunity to host a European Championship."
|European Championship For Men||2007||Spain|
|European Championship For Men||2009||Poland|
|European Championship For Men||2011||Lithuania|
|European Championship For Women||2007||Italy|