“Everyone can be a little jealous”

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Tampere has not been officially named as the host of the next European basketball championships, but Kamil Novak, the European director of the international basketball federation FIBA, is already incensed at the Tampere arena. The Basketball Association denies that the selection has yet been made.

Antti-Jussi Sipilä,

Roope Visuri

After a 55-year hiatus, Finland finished among the top eight in this fall’s European basketball championships. However, there is already a continuation, as Susijengi secured a place for next year’s World Championships in Asia earlier this summer.

Finland also already has a place in the next European Championship three years from now, as Finland hosts one of the preliminary groups of the European Championship.

However, the venue is open. told in March how the application was made in August 2021 in the name of Helsinki, but playing in the hall has not been an option since the war started by Russia in Ukraine. The owners of the Helsinki arena include Russians on the sanctions list of Western countries.

In March, the CEO of the Basketball Association Ari Tammivaara told the Basketball Association that they had discussed with Tampere and that the city of Tampere had a positive attitude towards hosting the EC initial group in the Tampere Arena. At that time, Tammivaara said that the decision about the playing spot does not need to be made on a terribly fast schedule.

European Director of FIBA, the International Basketball Federation Kamil Novak however, only talks about Tampere when Urheilu asked Novak about his expectations for the upcoming European Championships in Finland.

– Now we have a super modern arena. I haven’t been to Tampere yet, but I have seen the arena. We have understood that it is currently one of the most modern arenas in Europe, said Novak, who spoke about his high expectations for Finland.

The Basketball Association tweeted shortly after the news that Tampere is a viable alternative, but decisions about the 2025 European Championship venue have not yet been made.

The other hosts of the preliminary groups of the European Championship are Latvia, Cyprus and Poland, selected last this weekend. The follow-up games of the European Championship will be played in Latvia. Basketball’s big countries shine by being absent from the hosts, but Novak talks about changes in the application system.

– After the 2013 European Championships in Slovenia, we changed the system and made it possible for smaller countries to apply for the championships. Finland is a good example. I don’t think Finland could organize the entire Games. Now they are hosting the first group for the second time in eight years, Novak stated.

Cheers to exemplary Finnish fans

Finnish basketball fans have gotten to know each other in previous prestigious competitions. Even now, 5,000 Finns, if not even more, came to the starting block in Prague to cheer on Susijengi.

According to Novak, the International Basketball Association knew how to expect a large number of Finns at this fall’s European Championships.

– Finland is an example for other countries. They cheered their team on fantastically. There was also a Finnish school in Prague again. Fans were able to come to the venue with their children. These are the positive things around the European Championship. Fan culture isn’t just about going to games. Everyone can be a little envious of Finland, Novak praised and put Lithuania’s supporters in second place, for example.

Next year’s World Cup, which will be played in September, will be held in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. In the capital of the Philippines, there are three initial groups, two further groups and playoffs. Indonesia’s capital Jakarta and Japan’s Okinawa have two initial blocks and one extension block.

The journey is significantly longer for Finnish fans compared to previous value races. When Finland made it to the World Cup with a wild card in 2014, the games were held in Bilbao, Spain.

– In terms of the sport, I hope that as many Finns as possible will travel to the place, Novak states.

Updated at 20:27. Added a tweet from the Basketball Association.

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