The city of Athens has been awarded the hosting of the 2020 Basketball Champions League (BCL) Final Eight.
The BCL Board had taken the unanimous decision on March 30 to resume and conclude the 2019/2020 Season with the hosting of a Final Eight.
This was in the wake of the decision by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) on March 12 to cancel all international competitions.
It was in order to protect the health and safety of players, coaches, officials and fans following the coronavirus outbreak.
The Final Eight is to be a single-game knock-out competition, to be held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4.
Six teams have already qualified for the Final Eight, including AEK of Greece, Casademont Zaragoza of Spain, and ERA Nymburk of the Czech Republic.
The others are Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem of Israel, San Pablo Burgos of Spain, and Türk Telekom of Turkey.
There are two outstanding games, still pending for the conclusion of the Round of 16 in the competition.
These are JDA Dijon of France versus Nizhny Novgorod of Russia, and Iberostar Tenerife of Spain versus Filou Oostende of Belgium.
They will be played prior to the hosting of the Final Eight, on Sept. 16.
Eight teams will participate in the pinnacle event of Basketball Champions League’s fourth season which will be played over the last weekend of September in the Greek capital.
The games will be played in the 18,000-capacity Nikos Galis Olympic Indoor Hall, the regular home court of AEK.
The decision concerning the presence of fans in the arena will be taken at a later stage and in accordance to the rules and regulations set by the Greek official authorities.
As part of this host city announcement, the logo of the 2020 Final Eight has also been unveiled.
“We are very excited to have Athens host the Basketball Champions League Final Eight.
“We are grateful for the commitment of the Greek authorities to help us organise this event in the best and safest way possible for all stakeholders, especially the players of all qualified teams.
“We have also witnessed the enthusiasm of the host club to organise this historical event,” said Patrick Comninos, CEO of the Basketball Champions League.
“In spite of the difficult situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to award this Final Eight, with the participation of eight clubs that have earned their spot throughout a hard-fought season, to an environment that has proven experience in organising top-level basketball events.
“This will guarantee a unique week of basketball for fans across Europe,” he added.
According to the schedule, the Quarter-Finals will be played on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, the semi-finals on Oct. 2, with the Third-Place Game and Final scheduled for Oct. 4.
The draw determining the pairings will be held following the conclusion of the Round of 16 games.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Basketball Champions League is an innovative 50-50 joint partnership between FIBA and 11 top European leagues.
It is a fair competition based on sporting principles with teams qualifying through national leagues. (NAN)