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The Sport Information Resource Centre

TORONTO, Ont. (March 23, 2020) — The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) announced last night a decision to not send Canadian teams to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020.  The COC and CPC are calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to postpone the Games for one year.

Earlier on Sunday, the Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that the IOC will step up its scenario-planning for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.  These scenarios relate to modifying existing operational plans for the Games to go ahead on 24 July 2020, and also for changes to the start date of the Games.

“Canada Basketball supports the decision made last night by the Canadian Olympic Committee,” said Glen Grunwald, President & CEO of Canada Basketball.  “Our athletes are considered by many to be role models and to put them in an unfair position to ask them to continue training and preparing for the Games sends the wrong message to all Canadians.  Basketball, and sport in general, has an ability to bring people together and when it is safe to do so, we will use the power of our game to help heal our communities from coast-to-coast-to-coast.”

Canada Basketball and Friends of Victoria Basketball remain committed to hosting the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Victoria when details related to the timing of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have been confirmed.  When tournament details are finalized, Friends of Victoria Basketball will provide ticket holders with options for refunds, if necessary.

Canada Basketball will continue discussions with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) as it relates to the likely postponement of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Victoria, British Columbia, originally scheduled to take place from June 23-28, 2020.  However, the tournament will only be held at a time when the health and safety of all athletes, coaches, officials, support staff, volunteers and spectators can be ensured.

At this time, there is no further information available regarding the tournament and to speculate on potential changes at this point would be counterproductive.

“First and foremost, the health and safety of our communities across the Capital Region is paramount to everyone involved with Friends of Victoria Basketball,” said Clint Hamilton, Chair, Friends of Victoria Basketball.  “We remain in daily contact with Canada Basketball and will continue to provide regular updates to ticket holders and partners as new information comes to light. When we began planning to bring the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament to Victoria, we did so to bring a world-class basketball tournament to our region and to unify our community in so doing, and that remains our goal today.”

Friends of Victoria Basketball, a not-for-profit corporation, is the local organizing committee responsible for the planning and delivery of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament and related celebrations. In addition to delivering a world-class international event, the Friends of Victoria Basketball will be working to ensure that this exciting opportunity also generates tangible legacies in Victoria and across the Capital Region in the form of sport development, social, cultural, economic and community development enhancements.

In a related development, The Northern Showcase, an exhibition game scheduled for June 12 in Hamilton pitting the Canadian Senior Men’s National Team against a Canadian Elite Basketball League Select team has been postponed. A make-up date will be determined at a future time.

Developments in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continue to change regularly and Canada Basketball will remain in contact with and follow the directions of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure we are aware of, and aligned with, appropriate recommendations and requirements.

Canada Basketball continues to encourage everyone to practice social distancing to limit public interactions and do our collective part in slowing the impending spread of the virus and flatten the curve.  Recommendations for protecting yourself and preventing spread of this illness also include frequent hand washing and covering both your nose and mouth when coughing.

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