EUROBASKET WOMEN 2015
|(Left to right) FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin, FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson, Hungarian Federation President Ferenc Szalay and Hungarian Federation Secretary General Tamas Sterbenz signing the Hosting Agreement of EuroBasket Women 2015|
The FIBA Europe Board decided on Sunday that Hungary will be the host country of EuroBasket Women 2015.
The decision was the result of a majority vote after the Board evaluated the bids of the two candidates, Belarus and eventual winners Hungary, in Munich.
Immediately after the ceremonial signing of the Hosting Agreement, FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson said: "First of all congratulations to Hungary and the minister, but I would also like to thank our friends from Belarus for their presentation and enthusiasm.
"In my opinion this is an excellent choice since, as we were also reminded during the presentation, Hungary has tradition in basketball and especially in women's basketball," the President added.
FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin commented: "I would like to congratulate the host but also the Belarusian Federation for their willingness to host such a big event, and I'd like to tell them ‘Don't give up, continue to work hard.'
"To the Hungarian Federation I'd like to say that there will be demands for an event of such high level, but knowing the people that will work for this event I am more than sure that all requirements will be met," Mr Zanolin added.
Hungarian Secretary of State for Sport Attila Czene was delighted.
"We can now happily tell everyone that we will host EuroBasket Women 2015 and we are extremely happy for that because it means we will go on with continuing to build the necessary infrastructure, as we will also bid for the Youth Olympics in 2017," Mr Czene stated.
|(Left to right) FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin, FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson, Hungarian Secretary of State for Sport Attila Czene and Hungarian Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister’s office Peter Szijjarto |
"Our aim in Hungary is to invest in sport and basketball is a main team sport. As a former Olympic champion, I am happy that we can reintroduce team sport in Hungary. Basketball is a bit behind handball right now and we are trying to close this gap, with 2015 we can start making progress.
"It will be very easy for the players, the fans and journalists to travel to Hungary, in the centre of Europe, and I hope, I know rather we will be very good hosts," the minister concluded.
Peter Szijjarto, Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister's Office, had fronted the Hungarian bid.
"My thanks to the FIBA Europe Board for this decision, our government decided a couple of weeks ago that it will fully support this championship and we would like to welcome everyone to come to Hungary and enjoy it," he said.
"I am glad that we won and also that we had two candidates from the central-eastern part of Europe, as that shows that women's basketball is very strong in that part of our continent."
The proposed EuroBasket Women 2015 venues are in the cities of Sopron, Gyor, Szombathely, Veszprem and the capital Budapest.