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Paris 2024 pleads for the choice of Lille for the first week of basketball at the Olympic Games

The Paris 2024 Olympics organizing committee is still advocating for the first week of basketball to be held in Lille during the Olympic Games, despite FIBA’s reservations. The stalemate persists.

The executive office of the Organizing Committee for the 2024 Olympic Games (OCOG) looked into the new site map on Thursday. While final studies are being carried out on the Villepinte and Châteauroux to host respectively the preliminary rounds of boxing (semi-finals and finals will be well contested at Roland Garros) and shootingthe question of basketball is not settled.

Since the decision “for technical reasons” not to play the preliminary round of basketball in hall 6 of the Porte de Versailles exhibition center (the matches will take place at Bercy from the quarter-finals), the COJO and the international basketball federation (FIBA) cannot agree on the location of the first matches of the Olympic tournament. FIBA wants to stay close to the Olympic Village while Paris 2024 wants to make an exchange between the start of handball (initially planned in Lille) and that of basketball. The COJO thus wishes that Karabatic and his family play their playoffs at Porte de Versailles, thus giving up their place to Lille in basketball for the first days of the Games. An option that FIBA ​​does not want to hear about, which does not wish to communicate on the subject for the moment.

A showdown
“We continue to discuss with FIBA, we specify on the side of Paris 2024. We are in the process of explaining why this is the best solution for us. » In fact, this inversion between basketball and handball for the first week would be the most advantageous choice for Paris 2024 in financial terms (revenues from the Pierre-Mauroy stadium!), for handball players who could benefit from the experience of Games and for other sports that would not be impacted. The hypothesis of locating basketball at Arena 2 at Porte de la Chapelle would require finding another place for badminton. Which, politically, would be tricky. And offering Lille badminton rather than basketball would not be the best solution in terms of ticketing either.

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Paris 2024 would not have offered any other option in the capital
It is a standoff that is engaged with FIBA ​​which, according to our information, remains firm on its positions. There are certainly elements of prestige to see basketball being played in the capital, but technical elements would also come into play. The lack of air conditioning at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium would thus make the floor slippery and dangerous for the athletes. From a source familiar with the matter, it also seems that Paris 2024 has not offered any other option in Paris (or the near suburbs) despite requests from FIBA. That Paris 2024 announced on Tuesday the opening of two new sites (probably Villepinte and Châteauroux) should give food for thought to the international basketball federation.

If the disagreement persists, it is up to the IOC, which takes part in the meetings between FIBA ​​and the OCOG, to decide. At Paris 2024, we are confident that Lausanne will agree that the solution on the table is the best for everyone. Some actors outside the OCOG argue that the IOC is also pushing for this option that is most in line with the 2020 Agenda dear to President Thomas Bach.

A decision is expected for the board of directors on July 12, but Paris is not making it a deadline.

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