Croatia Basketball to Host Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Split

Daniela Rogulj

November 15, 2019 – Croatia Basketball will host one of the Olympic qualifying tournaments in Split from June 23 to 28, 2020. They will return to the Dalmatian capital for the first time in 21 years. 

The FIBA Executive Board decided on Friday at a meeting in Geneva that Croatia, or Split, will host one of the four qualifying tournaments for the Tokyo Olympics next summer, reports the Croatian Basketball Federation

The Olympic qualifying tournaments are one of the most important and prestigious FIBA competitions, and the winner of each of the four tournaments will secure a place at the Tokyo Olympics. As each of the 24 national teams that have qualified for the tournaments has already proven to be high quality, the tournaments will certainly be very attractive for spectators.

The Olympic qualifying tournament in Split will be held from June 23 to 28, 2020.

“This is a big deal for Croatian basketball, after Eurobasket 1989, it is the strongest and most important competition on Croatian territory and should be used to promote basketball in that region and throughout the country, and we will do our best to get our best result,” said coach Veljko Mrsic after learning the good news.

“In order to talk about the odds, however, we have to wait for the draw and see who will come and with what kind of squad. It will depend on the NBA as well, because the finalists will not be able to perform,” said Mrsic. For Croatia, Mrsic would have to worry most about Ivica Zubac and the LA Clippers, as well as Croatia captain and current Utah Jazz Bojan Bogdanovic.

In addition to Croatia, the tournament organizers will be Canada (Victoria), Lithuania (Kaunas) and Serbia (Belgrade). Six teams will compete in each of the four qualifying tournaments, with only the top-ranked going to Tokyo.

The draw for qualifying Olympic tournaments will take place on November 27 in Geneva.

The following nations will play in the qualifying tournaments: Angola, Brazil, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Canada, China, Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Germany, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Senegal, Slovenia, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela.

In the men’s competition, the Olympic Games have already been secured by Japan as the host and seven teams from the World Cup, including two from Europe (Spain, France), two from the Americas (USA, Argentina) and one each from Oceania (Australia), Africa (Nigeria) and Asia (Iran).

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