Latvia to host preliminary round games of 2019 eurobasket Women
Latvia has been picked as one of the hosts of the preliminary round games of 2019 Eurobasket Women, FIBA Europe Board decided at a meeting on Saturday, June 25.
Latvia and Serbia will host two preliminary round groups each. The Final Stage will be played in Belgrade, Serbia. The preliminary round groups will be played in Nis and Zrenjanin (Serbia) as well as in Riga and Liepaja (Latvia).
Other bidders for the 2019 Eurobasket Women hosting rights were Russia and Israel.
Latvia's bid was presented by the former leader of Team Latvia, Anete Jekabsone-zogota, and the Secretary General of the Latvian Basketball Union, Edgars Sneps. The presentation included video messages from Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis, Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs, Latvian basketball legend Uljana Semjonova and the captain of Team Latvia, Gunta Basko-melnbarde.
"I am sure that, with the support from the central government and the Riga local government, we will be able to organize a true gala of women's basketball in 2019. I hope that the good performance of Team Latvia [at 2017 Eurobasket Women] in Prague and hosting of the 2019 Eurobasket Women will not only bring more trainees to sports schools, but will also encourage local governments and businesses to increase their support to women's basketball," said Valdis Voins, President of the Latvian Basketball Union.
As a host of the 2019 Eurobasket Women, Team Latvia will be exempt from qualifying for the championship.
As reported, Latvia hosted Eurobasket Women in 2009 - in Riga, Liepaja and Valmiera.
Team Latvia has done very well in 2017 Eurobasket Women and is today playing Italy in the semi-finals for 5th to 8th place. The top six teams in the final Eurobasket tournament standings will qualify for next year's FIBA World Women's Basketball World Cup, which means that a win by Latvia on Saturday against Italy will see Latvia through to the World Cup.