Coronavirus: Great Britain’s Olympic qualifiers moved to Serbia after outbreak

January 28, 2020
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    Karlie Samuelson (right) of Great Britain in action against Sasa Cado (left) of Serbia

    Great Britain Women, who finished fourth at Eurobasket in 2019, last played at an Olympic Games in 2012

    Olympic basketball qualifying matches involving Great Britain’s women have been moved from China to Serbia as concerns grow over coronavirus.

    The event was due to take place in Foshan, 1,000 kilometres south of Wuhan – the city at the centre of the outbreak – between 6 and 9 February.

    FIBA, world basketball’s governing body, have moved the event to Belgrade.

    “The safety of players and staff is of paramount importance,” said Maurice Watkins, chair of British Basketball.

    “We thank FIBA for taking swift action on this issue in difficult circumstances.”

    The dates for the tournament, which also includes China, South Korea and Spain, are unchanged,

    The number of people killed in China by the new coronavirus has risen to 81.

    “After having carefully evaluated the developments regarding the outbreak and placing as main priority the safety of the participating players and team delegation members, the FIBA executive committee decided to relocate the tournament,” a FIBA statement said.

    The event which Great Britain are participating in will run alongside another Olympic qualifying tournament in Belgrade.

    The remaining two FIBA women’s Olympic qualifying tournaments will be played in Bourges, France, and Ostend, Belgium.

    Great Britain last featured in the women’s Olympic basketball tournament at London 2012, when they finished ninth.

    The Tokyo Olympic Games take place between 24 July and 9 August this year.

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