Breaking News:

Ukraine loses 2015 Euro basketball championship

AP - Sports

Ukraine was stripped of the right to host next year's European men's basketball championship on Friday because of the continuing instability in the country.

Three of the planned host cities for the 24-team tournament were located in volatile eastern Ukraine, where government troops are fighting pro-Russian separatists.

Following Russia's annexation of Crimea in March, tournament director Markiyan Lubkivsky said that hosting the event was no longer possible, but Ukrainian and European basketball authorities had tried to keep the project alive.

FIBA Europe, the continental governing body, said Friday that its board had now decided the risks were too great.

''The decision was taken after a careful consideration of the continuous political situation and security issues in Ukraine, which deemed as less than favorable for the staging of such an important and demanding event,'' the organization said in a statement.

However, FIBA Europe said it will ''start negotiations immediately'' with Ukraine on hosting the 2017 championship.

A decision on next year's host will be made by September 30, with ''single or multi-country bids'' to be submitted by the end of July.

Even before Ukraine lost the hosting rights, France had positioned itself as a leading candidate to stage next year's championship, submitting a formal bid to FIBA Europe last month.

The decision to move the tournament out of Ukraine was announced three days after Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk hosted FIBA Europe president Turgay Demirel to discuss hosting plans.

Among the planned Ukrainian host cities for the September 2015 tournament were Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine, where militant groups are pushing for closer links with Russia.

Next year's championship will include two dozen teams from across Europe. France is the reigning champion after beating Lithuania 80-66 in last year's final in Slovenia.

FIBA Europe also said the 2015 tournament will use an extended knockout system rather than a second group stage, a change that had been due to come into force in 2017.

View Comments (0)
  • The Vertical Podcast with Chris Mannix: Kosta Koufos

    The Vertical Podcast with Chris Mannix: Kosta Koufos

    The Kings center talks about his team's volatile season and what it was like playing for George Karl. … More »

    Yahoo Sports - 3 minutes 5 seconds ago
  • Young Afghan Messi fan flees over kidnap fears

    Young Afghan Messi fan flees over kidnap fears

    A young Afghan fan of Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi has fled his home and gone to Pakistan because his family feared he could be kidnapped after he became an unlikely Internet sensation, the boy's uncle said on Tuesday. Five-year-old Murtaza … More »

    Reuters - 3 minutes 13 seconds ago
  • UEFA say presidential election still possible before Euro 2016

    UEFA say presidential election still possible before Euro 2016

    By Brian Homewood BUDAPEST (Reuters) - European football's governing body UEFA says it is still possible to hold a presidential election before Euro 2016 if its suspended president Michel Platini fails to overturn his six-year ban from the sport. … More »

    Reuters - 4 minutes 2 seconds ago
  • AP Interview: Fasel worried NHL players will skip 2018 Games

    AP Interview: Fasel worried NHL players will skip 2018 Games

    The head of ice hockey's international body says there's a strong possibility that NHL players won't be competing at the next Winter Olympics. International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel puts the chances at 60 per cent that the NHL … More »

    The Canadian Press - 6 minutes ago
  • 'King Claudio': Ranieri hailed as a hero at home in Italy

    'King Claudio': Ranieri hailed as a hero at home in Italy

    Claudio Ranieri was hailed as a national hero in Italy after coaching Leicester to a highly improbable Premier League title. ''King Claudio,'' read the headline on the front page of Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday, above a statuesque image of … More »

    AP - Sports - 8 minutes ago