FIBA moves Olympic qualifying tournament from China to Serbia because of coronavirus scare

Photo Credit: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

One of the dominant news stories of 2020 has been the coronavirus outbreak and the precautions people are taking to avoid contracting the virus itself.

The bulk of coronavirus cases have been linked to or found in China – where a portion of FIBA’s qualifying tournament for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games was to take place.

As a result, FIBA has decided to move the tournament from Foshan, China to Belgrade, Serbia. China, Great Britain, Korea and Spain are the four countries that will compete in this portion of the tournament.

After having carefully evaluated the developments regarding the coronavirus 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.

–FIBA statement

Those tournament games will still occur on Feb. 6-9 as scheduled. The other two qualifying tournaments will occur in Belgium and France. Coronavirus was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Madeline Kenney of the Chicago Sun-Times has reported that the virus has also kept a few players stateside that would typically be in China in the WCBA right now. Two of those are Stefanie Dolson (Hebei Win Power) and Cheyenne Parker (Sichuan Blue Wales).

Parker texted to the Sun-Times that the news has made her available for appearances at NBA All-Star in Chicago.

Because we are under contract with them, they are still legally supposed to pay us.

–Cheyenne Parker (in text to Chicago Sun-Times)

…it’s definitely made me a little more scared and cautious about going back.

–Stefanie Dolson (in text to Chicago Sun-Times)

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