FIBA's last Central Board meeting of 2013 came to a close on Sunday in Buenos Aires, Argentina with important discussions and exchange of information taking place on a variety of topics.
The FIBA family grew over the weekend, with the Central Board approving the affiliation requests of the National Basketball Federations of South Sudan and East Timor.
The Central Board took note of the strong demand for the four wild cards for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain and decided to keep all 15 applying national teams in the race until its next meeting.
The countries looking to complete the 24-team line-up for FIBA's flagship event in Spain are: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Nigeria, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Turkey and Venezuela. The decision will be made at FIBA's next Central Board meeting on 1-2 February 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.
The Board approved a duration of nine days to be the standard for each of the windows during which qualification games for future editions of the FIBA Basketball World Cup will take place when the new calendar and system of competition is launched in November 2017. It also gave the green light for the release of the 2014-2023 world calendar dates to all basketball stakeholders for consultation.
The Central Board continues to work diligently on improving its governance structure in view of the upcoming World Congress in 2014. In particular it highlighted the need for a structure that enables FIBA to be ready for any and all types of opportunities and challenges that lay ahead; to ensure that the main basketball stakeholders are included in the decision-making process; and to clearly define the roles and responsibilities between them. It also approved the creation of an Athletes Commission and provided for a position for the NBA in its executive bodies.
On a different topic, the Central Board opened a wide-spread debate on women's basketball which will continue until the next FIBA Women World Championship in Turkey (27 September-5 October 2014), when it expects to establish the base for a long-term strategy plan for the growth of this important pillar of basketball.
Other key information and decisions included:
- The draw for the 2014 FIBA World Cup will take place in Barcelona on Monday 3 February 2014. The Board also received a presentation by the Local Organising Committee (LOC) highlighting the satisfactory progress in the organisation.
- The draw for the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women will be held in Istanbul on Saturday 8 March 2014 on the occasion of International Women's Day. The Board also received a presentation by the respective LOC highlighting the satisfactory progress in the organisation.
- The National Federations of Guatemala, Morocco and Senegal were suspended due to their inability to properly function as the governing body for basketball in their respective countries.
- The Central Board reviewed FIBA's anti-doping policy and decided to introduce blood tests for Human Growth Hormones (hGH) in all of FIBA's main competitions, starting with the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain and expanding to all continents as of 2015.
- A new system of competition for FIBA's U17 and U19 World Championships for Men and Women was approved and will come into effect in 2014. Under the new system, each championship will be two days shorter, with teams competing over the course of seven game days, as opposed to nine game days as had been the case up until now. As a result of this, the dates for the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championships are Friday 8 - Saturday 16 August in Dubai, United Arab Emirates for the Men and Saturday 28 June-Sunday 6 July in Bratislava, Slovak Republic for the Women. The draws for the tournaments will take place on Wednesday 12 February 2014 (Men) and Wednesday 26 February 2014 (Women) respectively.
- In line with recommendations made by the Youth and Competitions Commissions and subject to logistical and technical details, the Central Board agreed to move forward with the detailed preparations for the integration of the Oceania and Asian teams into single Asia-Pacific competitions also in the youth and female events as of the 2017-2019 period.
- Cyriel Coomans, acting FIBA Europe President, was approved as a Central Board member with full right, in replacement of the late FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson. The Central Board also decided to make a contribution to the family of Olafur Rafnsson.