Brazil, Finland, Greece and Turkey awarded wild cards for 2014 basketball World Cup

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-2-2 9:06:59

FIBA's Central Board decided at a meeting in Barcelona on Saturday to award the four wild cards for the 2014 Basketball World Cup to Brazil, Finland, Greece and Turkey.

Considering the fact that the officials in charge of the Senegalese Basketball Federation have complied with past disciplinary sanctions imposed by FIBA and have agreed to a clear road map for the complete re-organization of the national federation, FIBA's Central Board has accepted to lift the ban imposed on the Senegalese national team and allow it to take part in the World Cup.

As a result, the field is now complete for FIBA's flagship event. The 24 teams are: Angola, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Greece, Iran, South Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Senegal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States.

The wild cards are made to ensure that FIBA has the teams which enable it to have the best possible FIBA Basketball World Cup, as FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann highlighted.

"Since 2006, 11 of the 12 teams that have been granted wild cards were always inside the top 24 of the FIBA Ranking Men," he said. "This proves that FIBA's Central Board is determined to make the FIBA Basketball World Cup as competitive as possible.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Nigeria, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Turkey and Venezuela were the 15 national teams that submitted applications for the wild cards. Italy and Germany subsequently withdrew their bids and China followed suit on Saturday morning.

"Three of the recipients of the wild cards for Spain 2014 are ranked inside the top 10. Greece, fifth in the current ranking, are a powerhouse of international basketball and this is the first time they have asked for a wild card. Brazil were quarter-finalists at the 2012 London Olympics, are 10th in the world and will host the 2016 Rio Olympics. Turkey were silver medalists at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and are a regular fixture in leading international tournaments," said Baumann.

"The fourth, Finland, impressed at EuroBasket 2013 by beating four teams from the Top 15 in FIBA's Ranking Men as they finished ninth in Slovenia. The Finns are enjoying massive support with their fans travelling in big numbers to their games.

"All four teams have confirmed the total commitment of their best players to participate at Spain 2014.

"These picks have also been backed by the Local Organizing Committee."

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