Basketball is one of the handful of sports that successfully delivered their return to international sporting scene during the ongoing pandemic.
FIBA delivered a successful November window of FIBA Continental Cup Qualifiers across four continents, seen as an extraordinary effort by the international basketball community amidst the global pandemic.
With the health and safety of all participants the top priority, the 78 qualifying games, which featured 72 teams and 870 players from around the world, were played in protected environment bubbles across 15 different cities in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe.
Only four games were postponed in application of the Covid-19 Protocol for FIBA Official National Team and Club Competitions.
In preparation for the Qualifiers, 18 webinars were organized to increase the understanding and awareness of the COVID-19 protocols among the hosts, participating National Federations and local authorities, with more than 400 participants in total.
To ensure a safe environment in the bubbles, all athletes and team members had to present two negative COVID-19 tests before traveling to the bubbles – with one test done no later than 72 hours before the departure and another one five days previously.
Participants were tested again upon arrival. More than 5,000 PCR tests were submitted before travelling and more than 4,000 PCR tests were organized on-site.
During the Continental Cup Qualifiers, FIBA was able to draw upon its past experience in successfully organizing events in bubbles from the FIBA 3×3 World Tour 2020, the Basketball Champions League Qualifiers and Final 8, as well as the recently concluded FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2021 Qualifiers.
The third and last window of the FIBA Continental Cup Qualifiers, to be played in February 2021, will also be organized in bubbles in order to ensure the health and safety of all participants.