|FIBA President Yvan Mainini at the first FIBA Central Board Meeting of 2014|
FIBA's first Central Board meeting of 2014 came to a close on Sunday evening and featured a number of significant decisions.
The two-day meeting was headlined by the Central Board's decision to attribute the four wild cards for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup to Brazil, Finland, Greece and Turkey.
In relation to Spain 2014, the suspension affecting the participation of Senegal's national team at FIBA's flagship event was lifted. FIBA will now work hand in hand with the officials in charge to establish a federation that can grow and develop basketball in Senegal.
The Central Board unanimously decided to call an Extraordinary Congress to be held on the weekend of 15-16 March in Istanbul, Turkey. The agenda will consist of adopting new General Statutes which will allow FIBA to improve its governance and strengthen its structure for future strategic growth. The Official Draw of the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women will take place during that same weekend.
The other decisions made were:
- The Central Board attributed the hosting rights for the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championships to Greece (Men) and Russia (Women).
- The Central Board lifted the suspensions of the national federations of Guatemala, Panama and Yemen. The current institutional issues affecting the Russian Basketball Federation - in particular the court decision to cancel the 2013 election - were discussed and if the situation is not improved by the end of June, a suspension may follow.
The bidding process for the right to host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup - the first staging of FIBA's flagship event under the new system and calendar of competition coming into effect in 2017 - is to be launched in a few months, with the decision to come in the spring of 2015. The bidding process for the right to host the 2018 FIBA Basketball World Cup for Women is to be launched shortly with the decision to come before the end of 2014.
In its continued efforts to keep up to speed with the constant changing nature of the game, the Central Board announced that new amendments were made to the Official Basketball Rules, which are in line with FIBA's strategic objectives. These will include, among other, extending the use of Instant Video Replay (IVR) and allowing the possibility for players to wear jersey numbers ranging from 00 to 99. These amendments will come into effect on 1 October 2014.
The Central Board congratulated the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) for its status and accomplishments within the Paralympic movement and discussed its request to work more closely with FIBA.
Finally, the Central Board paid tribute to David Stern, whose 30-year tenure as NBA Commissioner ended on Friday 1 February and looked forward to continuing the fruitful collaboration between FIBA and the NBA under new Commissioner Adam Silver, wishing him every success in leading the league to new heights.